simulation technology

3 Ways to Increase Faculty Buy-In for Simulation

3 Ways to Increase Faculty Buy-In for Simulation 2000 1121 Level 3 Healthcare

Imagine someone sitting you down in the cockpit of an airplane and telling you to figure out how to fly it. Seems ridiculous, right? The technology is so daunting and complex, anyone who isn’t a trained pilot would need a lot of help to figure it out.

Sitting a faculty or staff member down in a simulation lab and telling them to run a scenario would be just as difficult and confusing for them—though probably not as terrifying

Without the proper training, simulation technology can be intimidating for educators. They can’t just sit down and figure it out. When faculty members are unsure of how to use a solution such as a simulation system, they are unlikely to support an organizational investment in it. They are also unlikely to use it even if the organization invests in the technology. However, removing common barriers, concerns, and misunderstandings faculty members face can help you improve buy-in and increase adoption of simulation solutions at your institution or organization.

Why Does Buy-In Matter?

Hospitals, clinics, and universities can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on simulation solutions, so the biggest incentive for increasing faculty buy-in for simulation is to make sure you are spending that money on tools educators want—and are therefore more likely to use. Part of improving buy-in and adoption also means addressing some other challenges simulation facility operators face, including a reluctance on the part of leadership to provide funding for equipment maintenance and upgrades. Another issue is often that there isn’t adequate staffing to run scenarios, troubleshoot issues, and provide training.

How Can You Increase Faculty Buy-In?

There are several steps simulation facilitators can take to increase faculty buy-in and adoption for simulation solutions.

  1. Explain the benefits. Incorporating simulated scenarios into their curriculum takes extra time and effort for faculty members, so they will be more likely to do it if they can see what’s in it for them. Benefits include:
    • A more comprehensive curriculum
    • Improved student performance
    • Easier assessment of student competencies
  2. Offer the necessary training. Faculty members who know how to use simulation technologies are more likely to incorporate simulation scenarios into their curriculum. Training should be offered more than once a year or semester and should include how to write and program a scenario, as well as how to run it. If faculty members understand all the capabilities of your simulation solution, it will be easier for them to develop scenarios that support their course objectives.
  3. Provide adequate support. Even faculty members who have been trained to use simulation solutions will run into problems they don’t know how to fix. If those issues take a long time to resolve, educators and learners will lose valuable time, and they’ll have a negative experience with the solution, making them less likely to want to use it again. Educators will have a better user experience and be more likely to use the simulation system again if you address their technical issues as quickly as possible. 

Next Steps

Level 3 Healthcare has a staff of simulation experts who can answer questions about everything from incorporating AV technology into medical training to designing a new simulation lab. Contact us today with your questions.

How to Solve Common Simulation Challenges

How to Solve Common Simulation Challenges 1500 1001 Level 3 Healthcare

Simulation technology is a hot topic these days, and its popularity is only increasing. Why? Because simulation helps healthcare students and providers prepare for high stakes scenarios in a safe, low-risk environment. Simulation-enabled education and training ultimately improves provider performance and patient outcomes. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its share of unique frustrations. As more institutions incorporate simulation solutions into their training curriculums, more kinks appear that need to be worked out.

 

7 Common Simulation Challenges—and Their Solutions

Level 3 recently conducted a survey to identify the most common simulation challenges. Below are some of the frustrations, as well as advice from simulation experts on how to solve them.

1. Complicated policies and procedures. Simulations create data and recordings that must be stored and archived properly to avoid liability.

Solution: Creating an official policy for storage of simulation session videos, for example, can help mitigate any risks posed by storing information in the simulation lab itself. For example, all video could be forwarded to the appropriate faculty member and then deleted from the simulation lab server.

2. Exchanging information and following best practices. A lack of standardized training for simulation technology users means the exchange of lessons learned and best practices is critical—but it is also easier said than done.

Solution: Use social and professional networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn to create groups for simulation technology users.

3. Hiring and training qualified Sim Techs. The current lack of standardized training for simulation technicians can pose a challenge when you are trying to hire the most qualified person to round out your simulation team.

Solution: Focus on each individual’s capabilities rather than whether they have a specific degree. Writing a job description that matches the specific needs of your organization will also help you attract and hire the right person.

4. Adequately training staff. Allocating funds for simulation solutions isn’t money well spent if no one can operate the solution. In some cases, a lack of training and confidence may cause faculty to avoid using the solutions altogether.

Solution: In addition to setting aside money, time must also be set aside so staff members can be adequately trained and prepared to use simulation tools to their full potential.

5. Developing relevant scenarios. Having access to simulation technology can enhance the learning experience, but the capabilities of your technology shouldn’t dictate what is taught.

Solution: Educators need to identify their learning goals independent of the simulation tool and then leverage simulation technology to achieve them.

6.Improving access and connectivity. Spotty wireless connectivity in a simulation lab can be frustrating to educators, especially if they only use the simulation system once or twice a semester.

Solution: Hardwiring all the components in the lab can resolve this issue. VPN, conference calling, and remote access software can help provide remote access to scenarios, recordings, and debriefings.

7. Knowing when simulation isn’t the best solution. Manikin-based simulations are convenient and popular, but they might not be the best tool for every training scenario. Even the most thorough, thought-out simulation can’t account for everything a real patient might do.

Solution: Use all the training tools and methods available to you for the most comprehensive, realistic training experience.

 

Next Steps

Want more details about solutions to your simulation challenges and concerns? Level 3 recently hosted a webinar where our simulation experts addressed your most common frustrations and provided informed advice to resolve them. Download the webinar recording to learn more. (Password: Level3HC)

 

7 Reasons to Standardize Your Simulation Technology

7 Reasons to Standardize Your Simulation Technology 1500 1001 Level 3 Healthcare

Simulation technology has become an integral part of the training and education. For industries like medicine and emergency response, where the stakes are high, errors can be costly not only financially but in patient outcomes.

Simulation technologies can be a significant investment, but standardizing these solutions can make their use more efficient and effective.

What to Standardize in Your Simulation Solution—and Why

Standardizing simulation solutions across an organization. This improves the experience of educators who are running the simulations as well as of students who are learning from them. It also improves the experience of other staff members. When issues arise, operations specialists, IT managers, and simulation technicians may be called upon to operate the simulation solution or troubleshoot the issue. Here are seven areas to consider standardizing—and why.

  1. Control stations. One teacher might use a handful of different simulation solutions across your campus or organization during a semester or school year. Precious teaching and learning time is lost if they have to reacquaint themselves with the control system every time they want to run a simulation scenario. Standardized control stations with the same computer model, operating system, mouse, keyboard and aspect ratio cut down on time spent learning how to use the system and increase time spent using it to teach students.
  2. Operational commands. Part of standardizing control stations is standardizing the commands users need to operate the system and run the scenario. Keyboard commands should be the same for every simulation tool in your organization, and every control station computer should have the same desktop shortcuts installed. In other words, there should be no difference to a user no matter which simulation tool they are running.
  3. Scenario programming. Many educators use the same scenario for each simulation session, but instead of saving the steps and outcomes, the scenario is programmed manually each time. This is a time-consuming process that also leaves room for human error. By pre-programming standard scenarios, educators can automate the process, which saves time and allows them to account for and easily address the most common student responses and outcomes. Any outcomes outside those parameters can be addressed in real time during the scenario and incorporated into the automated version later.
  4. Responses and prompts. Events during a simulation, and the outcomes of those events, should play out organically to some degree, but many events and outcomes can be organized and standardized on the simulator software menu. For example, generic responses given by the manikin such as “yes,” “no,” and “I don’t know” could be grouped together under a single menu heading. This kind of standardization also simplifies the operation of the simulator, allowing educators to pay more attention to what students are doing and how they are reacting.
  5. Simulation training and education. Simulation solutions are increasingly common in higher education settings, but the training for how to operate simulation solutions is not yet standardized across the industry. Training ranges from on-the-job learning to professional certificates to master’s degrees in clinical simulation. Providing a clear and standardized path for your employees to receive training on operating simulation solutions will help ensure a uniform, quality experience for everyone involved in operating, teaching with, and learning from a simulation tool.
  6. Simulation technician role. One of the easiest and best ways to ensure your simulation solutions are installed, operated, and maintained correctly is to designate a simulation technician within your organization. A designated simulation technician will take the burden off IT staff or operations specialists who have taken on simulation solutions as an additional duty. A dedicated simulation technician can also ensure standardization of simulation tools across your organization.
  7. Results tracking. If simulation systems are standardized across your organization, you can much more easily track comparable results and outcomes across your organization, and quickly adjust scenarios and processes as needed.  

Next Steps

Standardizing or, at the very least, integrating simulation solutions across your organization. This will lead to a richer experience for the teachers and students who use them. Designating one person, with the proper training and necessary availability, to manage the operation of simulation solutions across your organization is a critical step toward that standardization. Level 3 Healthcare can help you do both. Level 3 Audiovisual simulation technology integrators can get you started with the right hardware and software. And Level 3 training and certification opportunities can ensure your simulation technicians are qualified to operate and manage those solutions.

4 Ways Simulation Technicians Add Value To Your Organization

4 Ways Simulation Technicians Add Value To Your Organization 1500 1001 Level 3 Healthcare

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Next Steps

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.