Academic Simulation

Nursing

Nursing is probably the fastest growing profession in healthcare, in large part due to the rising demand for their services. Undergraduate, pre-licensure programs exist at several levels in academia: RN programs, ADN programs, BSN programs and even post-graduate, licensed MSN. RN/ADN programs are coming from two-year colleges. Simulation still plays a large part of their clinical education, but often do not have the same resources a BSN program might enjoy. Nevertheless, nursing educators are still responsible for preparing their learners to not only graduate from their academic program, but also the examination for licensure (NCLEX). Simulation, thanks in part to a study performed by the NCSBN, may replace up to 50% of clinical practice (with real patients). Each state’s Board of Nursing may further clarify what parts of the NCSBN will be employed. Simulation has been determined to be just as effective as traditional clinicals. However, simulation cannot replace all clinical requirements. Our simulation education professionals are a great resource for nursing programs who want to take advantage of the many benefits of simulation education.

EMS

Emergency Medical Systems consist of various contexts and roles for Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics. Hospitals often employ EMTs and Paramedics to help staff their emergency rooms, ambulances, etc. Firefighters are often staffed with EMTs and Paramedics as well. In addition to fighting fires, they are often called upon to be the first line of support for stabilizing the injured or sick. In some communities, these professionals bridge patient care by first responders, and also connect with regional hospitals and emergency clinics. The training requirements of these EMS professionals are unique in that their arena for patient care could be a living room floor, a parking lot, or a football field (among other places). An EMS professional is NOT an “ambulance driver.” EMS training programs, whether pre-licensure or for continuing education must strike a balance between fixed training facilities and In-Situ environments where the injured or dying might be located.

Interdisciplinary

Interdisciplinary simulation or practice is a term that has mostly been replaced with the more contemporary term “interprofessional.” However, while interprofessional refers to those different professions that are interacting for a shared purpose, interdisciplinary fits more in the domain of academics, as different disciplines come together for educational purposes. A discipline is a body of knowledge representing specialized theories and frameworks (Rizzo Parse, Nursing Science Quarterly, 2015, vol 28 page 5-6). These two terms often get confused, and even the most educated use them interchangeably. Indeed, shouldn’t professionals continue to learn? Ultimately, both have a role in academic and in professional environments.

Allied Health

The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP) defined allied health as “those health professions that are distinct from medicine and nursing.” Allied Health professionals work with and support licensed medical and clinical (nursing) disciplines. Such professionals are “allied” with multi-disciplinary teams for the care of patients. This group of professionals are also growing, providing important services to caregivers and patients. Some states do not require formal education, while others do. Simulation education is also used in these type of programs, although the simulation technology does not need to be as full-featured as would be required for nursing, EMS, or physicians, but they do need to provide appropriate fidelity for each specialty.

Dentistry

Various educational/training programs exist all around the world, each with their own specialties. Simulation has become a methodology for assessing learners while providing technologies designed to give these future practitioners experience in their chosen specialty. From technicians to doctor-credentialed professionals, from hygienists to oral and maxillofacial surgeons, these education programs benefit from both simulation as well as specialized simulators and simulation audiovisual solutions for monitoring and debriefing.

Veterinary

Simulation is used in schools of veterinary medicine, allowing learners to put their knowledge into practice without placing animals at risk or discomfort. Both human medicine, and veterinary medicine have long utilized living animals in their simulation practices to give the most realism to the students, but in recent years, new simulators have emerged that simulate the tissues, physiology and haptic feedback allowing many schools to nearly eliminate this practice.

Graduate Programs

After earning a bachelor’s degree, simulation tends to play a smaller role in the graduate learner’s preparation. In the case of MSN programs, typically learners can specialize in either healthcare administration or in nursing education. Other opportunities also exist (such as informatics, research, medical affairs, etc.), but ultimately, hands-on patient care plays a smaller role. However, the value of using simulation as a means of doing research, data gathering, as well as preparing future educators for to learn to employ simulation education methodologies, simulation still has a huge role.

Audiovisual solutions become just as important as video becomes a means of documenting events, and drawing out metrics by which data is analyzed.