Simulation Education

Why Debriefing Is Critical to Simulation Training Success

Why Debriefing Is Critical to Simulation Training Success 2000 1335 Level 3 Healthcare

Debriefing Improves Simulation Education—Here’s How

Have you ever watched a video of yourself and wondered why in the world you were talking so loudly, playing with your hair, or doing something else that you weren’t aware of at the time? Video can reveal a lot of details that get overlooked in the moment.

Simulation training is quickly becoming the most effective way to provide healthcare education, but for best results, you should take it a step further and record then evaluate the training. While simulation scenarios help students practice their skills and prepare for high-pressure, life-and-death stakes in a safe, low-risk environment, the real learning takes place when students and instructors review the scenario afterwards to see what went well and where they can improve.

Does your simulation training program accommodate recording each scenario for the critical debriefing step? Here are three reasons it should.

3 Ways Debriefing Improves Healthcare Simulation Training

  1. Professionals can give better feedback. Recording the scenario and then debriefing it allows an expert to review student performance and provide feedback and expertise they can’t usually offer in the moment. While instructors are usually part of a simulation training, in a high-pressure simulation scenario where everyone is working hard to save a “patient’s” life, there isn’t time to step back and go over the proper way to draw blood or check a heart rate. A recording allows instructors to review details that might have gone unnoticed in the heat of the moment and address or correct them in the less stressful debriefing environment.
  2. Students can see their own mistakes. Human error will never be completely eradicated from medical care, said Brandon Phillips, a former EMT and current simulation technology and operations specialist with Level 3 Healthcare, but effective healthcare simulation training can help minimize mistakes. In addition to the instructor feedback, seeing their own errors can make an even bigger impact on students. Simulation training is the “gold standard” in healthcare education, Brandon said, and debriefing is a critical part of that. Reviewing a recorded simulation can help students see mistakes they didn’t know they were making—and they can correct those mistakes before they impact real-life patient care.
  3. Students can apply lessons right away. A timestamped digital recording of a simulation scenario can be quickly and easily reviewed immediately by instructors and learners together. That means lessons can be applied immediately as well. For example, Brandon said he was once part of a simulation where pediatric nurses were treating a “patient” in respiratory distress. That “patient” went into cardiac arrest and the nurses weren’t able to revive him. An instructor-led debriefing after the scenario helped the nurses see where they could have done better. The very next day, a real-life patient with the same symptoms came to the hospital and those nurses were able to save his life. “Because of the training we did, we were able to save a life,” Brandon said. “That’s the best return on investment right there.”

Next Steps

Level 3 Healthcare’s SIMStation product line offers several user-friendly and affordable solutions for digital recording and effective debriefing of simulation trainings. A Level 3 Healthcare simulation system expert can help you choose the right simulation hardware and software for your budget to help you achieve the best results for your organization and your students. Learn more today.

3 Budget Hacks for Your High-Fidelity Healthcare Simulation System

3 Budget Hacks for Your High-Fidelity Healthcare Simulation System 2000 1333 Level 3 Healthcare

Simulation Environments for Less

If you’ve ever seen a holiday blockbuster film then you’ve probably been transported to a faraway place—a planet at the outer reaches of a futuristic solar system, backstage at a rock concert, or the front lines of World War II—maybe without even realizing it was happening.

Healthcare simulation labs require a similar suspension of disbelief for students to receive a truly immersive and effective education. There is an ever-growing body of tools that can help accomplish a high-fidelity simulation environment, including manikins, AV technology, and medical devices. But creating a seamless, realistic simulation doesn’t come cheap, and most universities and other training facilities don’t have the same budget as a Hollywood studio.

So, how can you get the tools you need to create a high-fidelity simulation experience, and how do you get them on a budget? Get your popcorn ready and keep reading to find out.

3 Steps to High-Fidelity Simulation on a Budget

There are three steps to take before you make an investment in healthcare simulation technology. Following these recommendations can help save you from unnecessary expenditures, while ensuring you have the tools and technologies you actually need.

  1. Outline the objectives for your lab. You can’t choose the right technology if you haven’t defined how it will be used. Instead of your technology dictating the curriculum, the objectives should justify the technology purchase. For example, if the goal of your lab is to teach non-emergency care, such as reading vitals or placing IVs, you don’t need a $10,000 manikin. Instead you could use real people and display their vital signs on an iPad, or invest in IV arms rather than the entire manikin.
  2. Don’t be distracted by simulation tech trends. Choose solutions you need—versus those with exciting features to save on costs and to ensure your simulation faculty won’t get distracted by the technology. For example, some simulation systems include a voice changer that can make the person speaking sound like someone else. A man can sound like a woman or an adult can sound like a child. Sure, it sounds cool, but think carefully about how much and how often you would use it. If the answer is not often, then the cost outweighs the benefit. In addition, some skills such as hand-washing and gloving, as well as taking temperatures, blood sugar, and other vital signs, are better acquired through manual learning.
  3. Think twice before you choose an all-in-one solution. While in other AV environments, such as a conference room, a packaged solution is usually more cost-effective, the same isn’t necessarily true for simulation systems. An all-in-one simulation solution creates a single point of failure—if one piece of the system goes down the entire solution becomes unusable. In addition, simulation technology is changing so fast that such solutions are at risk of becoming obsolete more quickly. Replacing one outdated piece of a system is much cheaper than replacing an entire solution.

Next Steps

You also want to make sure your installation is cost-efficient but done right. Every simulation solution requires an audiovisual installation, but not many simulation providers have AV expertise. So while a quote may seem cheap, you might have to pay the same amount again—and maybe more—to an AV integration firm. With Level 3 Healthcare you get simulation and AV expertise from the same team, making Level 3’s turnkey simulation solution a more cost-effective option in the long run.

Ready to learn more from our simulation experts about how to effectively choose and operate simulation solutions? Register for our Ultimate Simulation Boot Camp today.

Why Simulation Managers Want Educator Standards

Why Simulation Managers Want Educator Standards 1096 851 Level 3 Healthcare

Why Simulation Managers Want Educator Standards

Treating a gasping patient who’s reported severe shortness of breath or a postpartum mother who’s hemorrhaging can overwhelm a nursing student. Fortunately, simulated scenarios take the risk out of practicing in such emergencies. Unfortunately, not all nurse educators are trained to plan and implement these simulations to the same standards.

Scenarios that are too advanced or not properly planned can go wrong for students by creating panic, triggering post-traumatic stress disorder, and even causing them to change their majors.

Simulation is a powerful tool in healthcare education, but without education standards, too many students won’t get the most out of these experiences. If the educators who run the simulation labs aren’t trained to uphold a certain standard, lab experience may harm students by giving them a subpar education or a negative experience with the field.

The State of Education in Healthcare Simulation

There are currently nursing organizations that recommend standards or shadowing programs or that even offer certifications, fellowships, or boot camps to properly train and prepare nurse educators for using simulation in their teaching.

However, experts like Scott Atkinson, the Simulation Technology & Operations Specialist at Level 3 Healthcare, recommend a more formal, consistent pathway to becoming a simulation nurse educator.

Without these kinds of standards, it is impossible for educators to be on the same page when it comes to everything from curriculum and level of difficulty to safety and student satisfaction.

Establishing the Simulation Standard for Nurse Educators

To begin creating a standards matrix, professionals can look at the guidelines recommended by organizations like the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and the training currently offered by organizations like the National League for Nursing.

Whether the eventual formal pathway includes some combination of specific coursework, certifications, mentoring, exams, or ongoing professional development, many industry leaders agree it’s time to hash out the details.

The Benefits of a Simulation Standard in Healthcare

Although the creation of a standard is somewhat complicated, the benefits will be well worth the effort. A standard will benefit:

  • Nurse educators by giving them career stability and assurance. Offering a formal certification or degree for nurse educators gives them confidence that their training can be used at most nursing simulation labs.
  • Nursing students by ensuring they receive the same quality of education as their peers—because they will be awarded credentials based on the same requirements.
  • Nursing schools by making it easier to evaluate whether educators have the necessary qualifications to run a successful simulation program.
  • Healthcare and patients in general by guaranteeing a quality education for nurses. Patients will be able to expect a standard level of care regardless of where they are treated because all nurses will be educated in the same way in their simulation training.

Next Steps

Simulation labs are an important investment for healthcare’s academic institutions. However, if your nurse educators lack the skills or knowledge to properly train students, much of that investment may be going to waste. If you have questions about healthcare simulation or would like to continue the conversation with an expert, email Scott Atkinson, our Simulation Technology & Operations Specialist, at SAtkinson@l3hc.com.