The value of simulation in training allied health professionals

Simulation training helps allied health professionals to prepare for the unexpected, correct behaviors, and improve core competencies in healthcare.

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Simulation training benefits allied health professionals by enabling them to practice procedure, prepare for the unexpected, correct negative behaviors, and improve core competencies until they achieve skills mastery -- all within a safe, yet highly realistic educational environment.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a groundbreaking report in 2003. The report,Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality asserted that nurses, doctors, and other allied health professionals lacked the education and training necessary to meet the growing demands of 21st-century healthcare.

The suggested solution for this skills gap? A recommendation of demonstrated proficiency for clinicians and health workers in at least five core competencies to include:

  • delivering patient-centered care

  • working as interdisciplinary teams

  • practicing evidenced-based medicine

  • focusing on quality improvement

  • using information technologies

There is now increased pressure on healthcare training institutions to produce larger numbers of qualified and aptly-trained allied health professionals (including dental hygienists, diagnostic sonographers/radiographers, surgical technologists, and physical/respiratory therapists).

Simulation education can improve effectiveness and efficiency in healthcare by closing the gap between classroom learning and real-life clinical experience.

Simulation-based training has experienced rapid progression and acceptance over the years as an educational tool. This is due, in part, to the heightened emphasis placed on interactive medical education and a deeper appreciation for advancements in computer-based technology.  

Inasmuch as simulation offers learners a risk-free environment in which to practice skills of increasing difficulty, the discipline continues to demonstrate its value as a means to evaluate learner competence and measure knowledge retention.

The Value of Simulation to Allied Health

Simulation-based medical education (SBME) allows for :

  • standardization and repetition of educational objectives

  • interactive learning in a clinical setting ( without patient risk )

  • facilitator-designed curriculum, including goal-oriented clinical experiences

  • a learner-focused, non-threatening educational environment

The value of SBME to allied health professions rests in its ability to enable learners to meet core competencies. Gaining experience through simulation helps participants to acquire confidence and knowledge as they progress through their healthcare careers, honing the clinical skills they need to provide safer care.

Review CAE Healthcare's curriculum and discover a simulation training course that can help you meet your educational objectives!

Integrate Simulation into Training

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For further reading:

Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality (2003)  

Issenberg SB, Scalese RJ. Simulation in health care education. Perspect Biol Med. 2008;51(1):31–46.

McCaughey, C. S., & Traynor, M. K. (2010). The role of simulation in nurse education. Nurse Education Today, 8(30), 827-832.

Paige, J., Kozmenko, V., Yang, T., Gururaja, R., Hilton, C., Cohn, I., Chauvin, S., et al, (2009). High fidelity, simulation-based, interdisciplinary operating room team training at the point of care. Surgery, 145(2), 138-146.

Steadman RH, et.al. (2006) Simulation-based training is superior to problem-based learning for the acquisition of critical assessment and management skills. Crit Care Med 34: 151-156

Wolf, L. (2008). The use of human patient simulation in ED triage training can improve nursing confidence and patient outcomes. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 34(2), 169- 171