Simulation based education is performed in a safe and controlled environment which enables healthcare students to develop problem-based learning and to practice competences in high-standards.
Simulation may play a central role in a student-directed learning model. It is possible to mimic real-life situations, so the students have a chance to practice procedures without risking the real pateints. It is also possible to determine in advance the nature of the cases to be addressed. Simulation based medical education is a valuable tool for better clinical practice.
In undergraduate training simulation aims to teach clinically related skills such as; history taking, patient examination, clinical decision making, critical thinking and communication. "Standardized patient"(SP) often described as someone who has been trained to portray a patient or a patient problem as described in a scripted case scenario and who can deliver a consistent, similar performance to different students. By using SPs, patient safety can be enhanced , because it allows students to practice clinical skills without risk to actual patients. Another important contribution of SPs to simulation based undergraduate training is their role in Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). It is a versatile multipurpose evaluation tool, allows to assess the students in a clinical setting. It is originally described as; " a timed examination in which students interact with a series of clinical skills testing at different stations." SPs are mostly take part many of these stations.
Simulation offers the potential for valid teaching and assessment of clinical skills in undergraduate training. It integrates early clinical contact for students before they meet actual patients in real clinical areas.
Theoretical knowledge represents the cultural background for the future physician or physician in training, nonetheless medicine is an eminently practical discipline. Historically, novice trainees have developed their technical expertise through practise on patients with carrying obvious patient safety risks. Simulation offers the trainee doctors to develop their technical skills and to simulate clinical contexts before their real workplace experience with patients. Therefore it has become an important and necessary component of postgraduate training, to target skills and behaviours that are difficult to acquire through old-fashioned traditional training.
Teaching technical skills and interventions outside of the operating room using models and simulators specially intended for basic technical skills, may better prepare trainees for a positive and enriching educational experience in the technical or interventional platform. It is possible to make repetetive practices on different simulation modalities (physical models and devices, computer-based interactive scenarios or models, task trainers, etc) until completing the cognitive and psychomotor components of these skills.
Patient management is often concerted with other healthcare professionals, working in the same or in other departments. It is obvious how this logic entails the necessity of dialogue between healthcare workers with the purpose of forming a team able to always guarantee the same quality of treatment regardless of the staff that is managing the patient. Using different scenario based simulations to teach team training and communication (non-technical skills), whereby “typical” high stakes room (emergency room, delivery room, Intensive Care Unit resuscitation, etc.) activity is rehearsed with various “crises” introduced to train all the learners on the team how to work together, communicate properly, and support each other to achieve a satisfactory outcome without errors.
Continuing Medical Education (CME)
Continuing medical education (CME) is a central component of professional development for physicians and other medical care providers. The purpose of CME is often the initiation and facilitation of exemplary continuing medical education activities to provide quality education to healthcare providers and deliver the highest quality patient care. Simulation based training gives the participants an opportunity to improve their personal qualifications (technical and nontechnical skills) and also patient safety through practicing in an immersive and risk free environment.
Simulators have applications not only for teaching or in the training of healthcare providers working in the field of specialty, but are also becoming, a tool for the assessment of attitudes and skills, attested subsequently by a certificate issued by a scientific society (this use is not mandatory and has sometimes been criticized).
Simulation provides many new advantages from the point of view of CME: Objectively measuring technical skills performance, setting proficiency ”benchmarks” that insure a minimum standard is measured and achieved before patient care begins, retraining when a physician has a prolonged absence or testing new devices before initial use on patients.