What do you mean by an “advanced simulation day”?
Advanced simulation is where we allow participants to experience a series of planned clinical scenarios that are designed to explore their ability to apply clinical and behavioural knowledge and skills within the context of various challenging circumstances in a safe environment.
The ’meaningfulness’ is created by bringing together a number of resources:
- Patients are portrayed either by one of our advanced patient manikins, or else by a real-life actor who has been trained specifically to play the role.
- Equipment and patient notes that would typically be found in an acute ward or other clinical environment
- Relatives -some scenarios will include a relative played either by an actor or an experienced member of faculty
- Multiprofessional team (MPT) – wherever possible we recruit nurses and other healthcare professionals to take part in the scenarios in their normal professional roles.
- Senior Medical Staff – most scenarios include some interaction with senior medical staff – usually in the form of a phone call/answering a bleep. Typically this role is provided by faculty.
What are the scenarios?
The scenarios are developed by TSCSC in conjunction with specialty experts, and each scenario has specific learning objectives related to clinical management or common professional and ethical issues arising in the care of the patient(s) presented.
Typically a course day is not designed to test individual procedural skills (e.g. insertion of a chest drain), although many of these can be replicated if needed to explore performance of certain tasks in the context of more complex clinical situations. More commonly the scenarios use a clinical situation to explore issues such as:
- Leadership and team working,
- Communication when working under pressure,
- Dealing with difficult colleagues/relatives,
- Decision-making and how to handle clinical uncertainty within the context of caring for an acutely unwell patient.
Each scenario runs for about 20 minutes and is followed by a group debrief facilitated by an experienced member of faculty.
I’ve heard that the course is filmed?
The whole day – scenarios and debriefs - are recorded. Consent is gained at the beginning of the day. The recordings are used to support new faculty development and can be an effective tool to aid the debrief process.
What do the faculty do on the day?
There are a number of roles that faculty undertake during the day, and these are listed below. You will not be asked to take on any of these roles unless you feel comfortable to do so and usually after you have seen what is required.
- Course Lead – Pre-brief of faculty, Introduce the day, set the ground rules (confidentiality, etc), orientate the participants in the simulated environment, evaluations, closure of the day and post course faculty debrief.
- Facilitator - check that each scenario is prepared and ready to run, and provide participants and observers with an appropriate briefing prior the scenario commencing.
- In the control room, run the manikin and provide his/her voice if needed. Other control room tasks include manning the telephone when this is used to interact with participants.
- Facilitation within the scenario (i.e. actually in the simulator room and in contact with control room by wireless radio) in order to:
- Protect the simulation room equipment
- Protect the participants (i.e. safe defibrillation, sharps safety)
- Support the scenario (describe symptoms and signs otherwise not displayed by the manikin, correct inaccurate impressions, perhaps provide cues and prompts).
- Faculty sometimes play ‘supporting roles’ in the scenario, such as the ward nurse (which may be combined with facilitation in the room as above), a relative/carer/patient or a ‘senior clinician’ who has been requested by participants for assistance.
- Facilitation of the debrief process (supported by subject experts)
So what should I expect to do when I start as a new faculty member?
During scenarios you will be asked to observe the candidates either from the control room or seminar room, making notes about how the participants deal with the issues being confronted. You may also be asked to answer the telephone in the control room as a ’senior colleague’ who has been bleeped by participants for advice or assistance; you will always be guided as to what you are able/expected to say.
A practised member of faculty will lead the debrief process (in which you can assist). When you become more familiar with the debriefing process and details of the scenarios you may wish to lead a debrief.
Are there any courses that I should attend before becoming a faculty member?
We offer a half-day Faculty Development Course for new faculty that we will invite you to attend, guided by your previous experience as an educator and any relevant personal development goals that you have.
This supports our quality assurance framework regarding evidence of the standards set for our core and visiting faculty.
Who is the Course Lead?
One of the TSCSC team (our Specialist Trainer or the Fellow) or a visiting experienced faculty member will lead the day. They will have been actively involved in creating and developing the course and will understand how the day is to operate. They are responsible for structuring and leading the day including allocation of faculty roles, timekeeping, debriefing etc.
Who else will be on the faculty?
Faculty are recruited from various medical specialties (including Consultants and trainees) and other healthcare professions from across the East Midlands region. The number of faculty on any given day depends on the course structure and individual availability.
What about the technical aspects of the course?
Trent Sim technicians maintain and operate the simulation and audiovisual equipment. You are welcome to get involved in the software/technical aspects of the course if you are interested, but it is not routinely expected.
What level of commitment do I need to make?
The level of commitment is entirely up to you. We find that faculty benefit most when they are able to come on several occasions as they become familiar with a course and are able to develop their teaching and facilitation skills more effectively. We do ask that if you confirm a course date as faculty that you make a firm commitment in your diary to attend (subject to exceptional circumstances). When faculty cancel or don’t turn up it is very difficult to recruit others at short notice which can have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the day.
What will I get out of it?
Hopefully you will have enjoyed your experience, and gained something from meeting and working with an enthusiastic and motivated faculty group. You will receive a certificate of attendance and we also offer an Objective Structured Assessment of Debriefing (OSAD) evaluation to add to your appraisal portfolio.
In addition, the skills which you develop in observing behaviours and providing individual or group feedback are directly transferable to the clinical environment, and will be useful when you are supervising more junior colleagues or when participating as a member of a multiprofessional team providing direct patient care.
I’d like to get involved but what do I do next?
- Go to Faculty and Teaching and complete a Faculty Application Form
- The centre will review your application (normally within 7 days) and identify which course(s) are suitable for you to support.
- The centre administrator will then contact you to confirm successful application, inform you which courses would be appropriate for you to support, forward a list of course dates and invite you to observe a course.
- After you have observed a simulation course you can then begin to attend as faculty.
- Each month you will receive circular listing courses with opportunities available; inviting you to book a faculty or an observer place on the course of your choice.
As a centre we are committed to supporting and developing new faculty and offer the opportunity to get involved in other aspects of the centre’s work, such as audit or research, if you so wish.