Medical Simulation as a Tool to Enhance Human Performance Technology in Healthcare

Medical Simulation as a Tool to Enhance Human Performance Technology in Healthcare

Jill E. Stefaniak (Old Dominion University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch551
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Simulation in its most primitive form is a replication of something that is real. A simulation could be classified as simply as an imitation of a particular body part that is being operated on or the replication of a patient room, operating room or emergency department. Morton (1995) has defined medical simulation as a strategy used “to replicate some or nearly all of the essential aspects of a clinical situation so that the situation may be more readily understood and managed when it occurs for real in clinical practice” (p. 76). The history of simulation dates back to the early 1900s when anatomical models were first being used to train physicians (Rosen, 2008). Now, with the help of technological advances in communication, science, and education, health care professions are now able to simulate very detailed procedures in order to train novice health care professionals in a safe and effective manner.

Simulations are classified in terms of fidelity based on the degree to which they approach reality (Hovancsek, 2007). Simulators used in medical education are often classified under three levels of fidelity: low, moderate, and high (Seropian, Brown, Gavilanes, & Driggers, 2004). Low-fidelity simulations are comprised of case studies and role playing activities where health care professionals may practice acting out specific procedures and receive feedback from an instructor. Task trainers may also be classified as a lower-fidelity simulation depending on the level of detail. Task trainers can range in levels of fidelity from something as simple as an anatomical model for viewing purposes to a higher-fidelity simulator that allow a health care professional the ability to practice administering shots, taking blood, inserting a central venous line, or performing a colonoscopy. Task trainers are often smaller in size compared to other simulators, and are typically a replication of one particular body part or region that is being addressed during a lesson plan.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Haptics: Science that deals with the sense of touch.

Noninstructional Interventions: A deliberate planned activity that does not training to address a problem or need.

Insitu Simulation: Simulation that occurs in a natural environment. In situ simulations may utilize human patient simulators but be carried out in an actual clinical department/patient room/operating room.

Performance Analysis: Performance analysis is conducted to identify all stakeholders associated with a project along with the organizational goals and strategies. Performance analyses place focus on three areas: the desired performance state, the actual performance state, and the gap between the desired and actual performance states ( Van Tiem et al., 2012 ).

Sentinel Event: An unexpected event that occurs when treating a patient that involves death, serious injury, and/or risk of compromised care.

Instructional Interventions: A deliberate planned activity that involves training to address a problem or need.

Fidelity: The degree to which something is accurate and real. The higher the degree of fidelity, the more realistic the simulation will be.

Simulation: A replication of something that is real.

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