What is it?
Medical simulation is the set-up, monitoring and review of a controlled medical event, designed to educate health care providers and broaden their experience with critical situations. Because simulations are completely staged, participants are able to make mistakes and learn from them without any risk to patients, and then use what they have learned in real-life situations.
The future of medical education
The rapid rate of information growth, increased demands on physician educators, and patient safety concerns have created a challenge to the present model of hands-on training for health care personnel. High fidelity medical simulation offers numerous benefits for patients, trainees, as well as educators, and is becoming an integral tool in the future of medical education.
High technology means realistic situations
Medical simulation technology allows for realistic clinical scenarios using life-sized computerized patient manikins that are able to respond in real-time to a variety of clinical interventions and pharmacologic agents.
This type of technology offers medical educators a new way to control situational learning.
A history of success
Simulation training is well established in other complex, high-risk industries such as aviation, nuclear power, and the military, all of which are regarded as high reliability organizations. The use of realistic high fidelity interactive patient simulators was pioneered in anesthesia in the mid-1980s. However, only recently has simulation technology come into more widespread use, and its full potential for medical education has not yet been realized.
The goal of the Rhode Island Hospital Medical Simulation Center is to actualize this potential and create a learning environment which fosters the development of superior clinical skills without risk to patients.
- The computer-driven manikins range from $30,000 to $200,000 and are capable of verbal communication, accurate representation of common physical exam findings (airway compromise, lung and cardiac sounds, pulses etc), and physiologic responses to drug and treatment interventions.
- Realistic representations of actual treatment settings allow simulation participants to suspend disbelief and immerse themselves in the training exercise.
- Participants involved in the simulation may include physicians, nurses, allied health care personnel or multidisciplinary teams.