Advantages of Simulation for Improved Healthcare Team Performance
The advantage of simulation as a powerful methodology for continuous quality and process improvement shows itself clearly in high-stress occupations and within industries where high reliability is a priority concern. (Think aviation, nuclear facilities, wildland firefighting). In healthcare, simulation-based training offers vast opportunities for clinicians to engage in repetitive, deliberate practice which proves to be of immense benefit.
By learning in a risk-free environment, mistakes can be made without potential harm to patients, and behaviors may be adjusted accordingly towards developing proficiency and skills mastery. Simulation training provides an invaluable opportunity for healthcare learners to apply theory to practice and train in procedures and techniques that they might not otherwise have access to -- all without risking patient safety (i.e., during emergency situations and resuscitation).
Effective patient care relies heavily on cooperation and collaboration among individuals from across medical teams and, quite often, from different backgrounds in terms of training and experience.
Therefore, clear communication, specific objectives, and streamlined interaction are essential to ensure that all necessary protocols and processes are adhered to for improving patient safety.
In a simulation-based training scenario, learners can develop essential non-technical skills (i.e., management of emotions, decision-making aptitude, situational awareness) by performing team-oriented tasks just as they would in a real-life situation. More than just talking through the steps, or reading about a process in a textbook, hands-on training encourages the solidification of key behaviors. When enhanced with a post-simulation debriefing, the result is, even more, deeper learning.
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