Pitfalls and Benefits of Implementing Simulation-Based Healthcare Education

Pitfalls and Benefits of Implementing Simulation-Based Healthcare Education
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Simulation-based healthcare became very popular in the last years. The reason for this practice is the desire to improve the patients’ safety. Simulation-Based Healthcare Education may be a high-flown naming. But it gives a name to complex simulation teaching strategies. They go alone or together with other approaches. Their goal is to enhance the learning experience of medical students. Nurses and future doctors learn to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. With the help of technology, they can simulate challenging clinical experiences.

So far, a few prestigious universities have already implemented simulation-based tools in their student training programs. Here are a few that adopted simulation activities in their curricula:

This article will explain the concept of simulation-based healthcare education in simpler words. We aim at assessing the benefits and pitfalls of SBE, as well as making some predictions for the future of medical studies.

What Is SBE?

Simulation is a generic term that refers to artificial situations in the real world. Simulation-based education is popular in a variety of domains. Military organizations, aviation, police force or the law courts use this complementary method. They all consider it a successful learning method.

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According to the Med Emergency research, applying simulation-based teaching methods to medical and healthcare sector is more than justified. Obviously, traditional training programs focused on deep learning cannot compete with SBE because the latest help to develop practical psychomotor skills.

Benefits of SBE Applied to Medical Studies

The supporters of implementing new technologies claim that SBE has a number of advantages. Here are some of them:

  • The full-scale simulation includes realistic manikins and clinical environments. Students will face the pressure in the Emergency Room or in the Ambulance. And they will take part in monitoring the patient. All the scenario is audio and video recorded. This means students and teachers will then analyze and debrief the entire session. In the end, they will learn how to improve their medical actions.
  • The most obvious benefit of the simulation is increasing patient safety. Future medicals will be already settled to challenging clinical experiences. They will know exactly what to do in real life medical circumstances. All with the help of simulating technology.

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  • It is hard to find complex patients that will generate difficult scenarios. Simulation-Based healthcare education imitates these clinical situations. Doing so, they prepare the students for such hard practice demands.
  • The simulation-based courses are different from the classic ones. Trainers are not there only to teach but to ease the learning process. They help the students develop meta-cognitive skills and to improve their critical thinking.
  • Simulation seems to be the ideal way of teaching medical students without harming no one. The chance of risks decreases by using realistic mannequins with vital signs.
  • Simulation allows trainers to vary the scenarios and parameters. They can also change the possible behaviors in real time. The students will face the most unpredictable scenarios in a short period of time. Scenarios that are impossible to get by only a guard.

Possible Pitfalls of SBE

Although simulation-based training is progressive, it naturally has its’ disadvantages explained below.

  • Simulation-based education cannot replace traditional methods. Education institutions should combine them to be the most beneficial. This modern educational only works at the right stage in the educational curriculum.
  • The manikins, as performant as they want to be, cannot simulate the human body. This includes temperature, blood pressure or sounds.

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  • Students may have difficulties when using computers and simulators. This means supplementary on the different stages of learning.
  • The implementation of simulation-based healthcare education is pricy. Also, the cost of mannequins and facilities is high. The system requires clinical, technical and administrative staffing. Universities need consistent budgets to include this kind of program in their curricula.

Assessing Simulated Conditions

Simulation in healthcare education is growing across the globe. Health institutions, organizations, and governments have licensed simulation as a learning method.

Executing clinical scenarios are now a part of the daily learning process. Global medical institutions are adopting this method with a lot of success. However, speaking of today, it is only a complementary practice used to enhance the traditional teaching practices. Simulation is an excellent way to enhance seminars and practical classes; however, students attending SB courses might suffer from not having enough lectures and theoretical classes.

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In the healthcare world, saving lives is more than a priority. The implementation of simulation-based healthcare is a right of way. Students who tried this model of learning agreed that the simulation experience works. It increased their confidence and sharped their medical skills. The future doctors know how to adapt to problems and crucial decisions.

Testimonies of students going through simulation-based training harden the studies’ conclusions:

“The learning environment felt very realistic and I can’t damage the mannequin if I make an error.”

I found them so useful. It provided us with confidence.”

“It is important to tool theoretical knowledge on mannequins. Using mannequins develops my knowledge and we cannot damage the mannequin through practice.”

Final Words on SB Training Courses

It is easy to say that the future of simulation-based education is prosperous. Although it faces difficulties, such as the lack of educators or finances, its’ popularity and efficiency is undeniable. The best practices are those that get implemented thoroughly, step-by-step, in a moderate combination with the previously used techniques. SBE has demonstrated a rapid ascent, and gains the growing acceptance from both teachers and students.


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