simulation based education

6 Standards for Simulation Programs of Any Size

6 Standards for Simulation Programs of Any Size 1900 1082 Level 3 Healthcare

There are plenty of times when size matters. A bite-sized candy bar won’t always satisfy a sweet tooth and a small business can’t always compete with larger players in their industry. For healthcare simulation programs, however, even a small team with limited funding can succeed just as well as their bigger counterparts. The key is to follow industry-designated best practices.

The International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) recently released Standards of Best Practice for Simulation. Adhering to the standards of operation in particular can make any size simulation program sustainable, while also increasing the return on the investment made in simulation technology; improving outcomes, and; bringing students, educators, and leaders closer to their goals and objectives.

Best Practices to Support Your Small Simulation Program

  1. Define a strategic plan. With an easy-to-follow plan that clearly outlines goals, roles and responsibilities, and desired outcomes, a simulation program can run smoothly even with a small staff. Also address plans for on-the-job training, program evaluation, and how to measure ROI and justify ongoing expenditures. Develop a communications strategy and make provisions for equipment maintenance and replacement.
  2. Empower personnel. Every team member should have the training necessary to set up, operate, and maintain simulation equipment independently if needed. Others who use the equipment—such as educators and trainers—should also be trained to operate it independently. This ensures there is no interruption in simulations and helps relieve some of the pressure on a small team that may already be stretched thin.
  3. Create a management system. In addition to an overarching strategic plan, every simulation-based education program needs a day-to-day plan for scheduling rooms, prioritizing requests, managing operator availability, and setting up and breaking down equipment for simulation exercises. Written instructions for each scenario help ensure operators know what to do and that everyone is following the same system so that educators and students can meet their instructional objectives. Periodically review and seek user feedback on the system to improve as needed.
  4. Manage the budget carefully. The budget requirements of a simulation-based education program go beyond the initial investment in tools and technology. Consider training and operational costs, such as staff salaries. Equipment costs include maintenance, repair, and replacement expenses. Simulation operators can also consider income opportunities to support the program. For example, they can rent the simulation space when it’s not being used internally.
  5. Align the program with organizational goals. The simulation program should be guided by the needs and goals of the organization as a whole. This will increase leadership buy-in and might also allow you to tap into personnel and budgetary resources from other programs or departments. Communicating with stakeholders and participating in initiatives across departments will help integrate the simulation program into the larger organization’s mission, goals, and operation.
  6. Develop sustainable policies and procedures. Create guidelines for everyone people who might use the lab, including instructors, students, visitors, volunteers, etc. Document easy-to-follow guidelines for processes and procedures like data collection and storage, as well as safety information and scheduling guidelines.

Next Steps

Even if your team is small, there are additional resources at your disposal. Our Level 3 Healthcare team can answer your questions, assist in implementing your plan, and help your simulation program succeed. Schedule a consultation today.

Simulation Provides Low-Cost, Low-Risk Nurse Training

Simulation Provides Low-Cost, Low-Risk Nurse Training 2000 1333 Level 3 Healthcare

Nurses are known for how busy they are since patient needs often can’t wait. And the nursing shortage means they need to focus on real patient care without the added responsibility of training students. In fact, a shortage of instructors is a big factor in why nursing schools turned away more than 56,000 qualified applicants in 2017.

Fortunately, in many instances, today’s simulation technology can take the place of clinical training in medical facilities.

The Benefits of Simulation in Nursing Training

The benefits of using simulation solutions to train nurses include:

  1. Nursing students face real scenarios. Simulation solutions allow students to practice treating patients with the same techniques they would use on real patients.
  2. They improve patient safety. With quality simulation training, nursing students can develop skills without risk to an actual patient. With recording and debriefing software, students learn what they did right and wrong in a scenario, as well as why.
  3. The training is thorough. With simulation, nursing students can train for scenarios that are rarely encountered in hospital or clinic settings but that are still important to be prepared for. In a clinical setting, illnesses and injuries are somewhat random, but in a simulated setting they can be carefully planned.
  4. Training is more efficient and cost-effective. Nursing schools can train students faster and more affordably with simulation solutions because students can test through more scenarios with fewer instructors.
  5. Nurses stay up to date. Nursing students can be easily trained in the latest medical treatments and techniques in patient care.

Simulation training can help nursing students improve their clinical skills, provide better patient care, build their confidence, and work better in teams. It’s important to have the right technology and resources in place for them to be successful.

The SIMStation Advantage

SIMStations are solutions designed specifically for medical simulations. They include all the necessary software, audio, and visual equipment needed for training, recording, and debriefing students.

In addition to providing effective, quality training of nursing students, SIMStations are economical and easy to install and help meet the needs of IT, educators, and administrators.

SIMStation solutions are flexible and upgradeable so that they grow with the institution’s nursing program—and there are even mobile options available. Developed by simulation experts, the solution contains all the tools necessary for high-quality training and for running a training room, control room, or debriefing room.

The SIMStation comes in a variety of product lines to suit the needs of any institution. There are also options for apps and management to improve the simulation experience. An experienced audiovisual partner can help institutions choose the simulation solution that best aligns with their goals.

Next Steps

Level 3 Healthcare’s team of medical engineers integrate audiovisual solutions into medical and healthcare settings. Our team can answer all your questions about simulation and also provide a free nursing school consultation. Level 3 can help you determine if the SIMStation is right for your institution. Contact us today.