In a real life medical emergency, wasting time becomes a matter of life and death. In a simulated medical emergency an actual life isn’t on the line but wasted time can still be damaging. If an educator has to spend time on setting up the system, troubleshooting the system, or fixing glitches, time is taken away from critical teaching and learning. Simulation scenarios might be rushed or missed altogether if teachers spend the bulk of their time just trying to get a simulation system to work.
As institutions of higher learning—particularly those involved in medical training—increasingly incorporate simulation tools into their curriculums, investing in a dedicated technician to ensure the system runs smoothly is more important than ever.
4 Benefits You Get From A Simulation Technician
Educators, IT pros and operations specialists often find themselves responsible for the operation and maintenance of simulation tools under the category of “other duties as assigned.” Many organizations don’t see the point in hiring a dedicated person to do a job existing employees seem to be managing just fine. But just because something is going fine doesn’t mean it can’t be better, and simulation technicians could be the key to unlocking additional productivity and ROI. Here are four ways simulation technicians can add value to your organization.
- Educators want to teach, not trouble shoot. Educators often become de facto simulation experts because they use the technology the most. Educators who have to set up and troubleshoot the simulation system are distracted from their core mission—to teach. If a simulation technician were available to prepare the simulation room, boot or reset the system, and address any issues as they arose, educators would have increased time for instruction, grading, mentoring and other responsibilities.
- IT departments have enough to do. Almost every IT department already has more than enough to do, and maintaining and monitoring a simulation system will likely fall to the bottom of an already long list. A simulation technician can relieve some of that burden by handling the day-to-day operations of a simulation system and freeing up the IT department to focus on more high-level, organization-wide concerns.
- Simulation solutions don’t exist in a vacuum. Simulation systems are not stand-alone tools. They have to interact and cooperate with other technologies, including network connections and AV equipment. Simulation technicians are perfectly positioned to be a full-time subject matter expert not only on the simulation system, but on how it integrates with other components. As simulation subject matter experts, simulation technicians can also advocate for the adoption and incorporation of simulation best practices.
- Time is money and sim techs save time. There is a lot of prep work that goes into a successful simulation user experience. It’s not as simple as booting up the system and diving in. For example, a room must be stocked with the right supplies. The simulation system itself has to be prepped and tested. Seamless simulation experiences also require someone to document and implement usage schedules, track and order supplies, work with vendors for support and collaborate with faculty members to understand what they need for each simulation scenario and prepare accordingly. That’s a lot to ask of someone who already has a full job description. A simulation technician, however, has the bandwidth and expertise to keep everyone on track and make sure students receive the necessary simulation training on time and without glitches.
The role of simulation technician is new to many organizations and the level of experience and skills among simulation technicians can vary. Taking advantage of training and certification opportunities, such as those offered by Level3, will ensure your simulation technician has the education and support they need to help you succeed.