Simulation in Learning and Teaching
Simulation in clinical teaching and learning has been rapidly developing as a method to provide safe and effective learning environments for students to learn vital skills in a low risk setting. Students can practice and hone their theoretical skills in a controlled environment, experiencing the intense interactions and encounters associated in the clinical setting, effectively testing their personal response and ability to regulate to the environment – without compromising patient safety.
Simulation can assume many forms using mannequins, paid actors (simulated patients, patient actors or standardised actors), hybrid simulators or computer-generated simulations. It enables clinical situations to be manufactured in a controlled environment, allowing students to learn, practice or apply new skills that would otherwise require real patients, carrying high-risk. Emerging evidence supports the value of simulation as an education technique, noting that to be effective it needs to be integrated into the curriculum in a way that promotes the transfer of the skills learnt to clinical practice.
Evidence shows a positive relationship between simulation-based education and learning outcomes, to developing knowledge and improved performance across a range of simulated scenarios. Some factors driving simulation-based education include patient safety, clinical placements and education imperatives – as simulation-based education “…has the potential to provide greater efficiency and rigour compared with learning through opportunistic clinical experiences. Clinical situations and events can be scheduled, observed and then repeated so learning can be consolidated" . Students can practise clinical skills and teamwork in a safe environment, without the fear and stress that may result from exposure to confronting conditions. The articles in this edition of Insights show the application and use of simulation-based learning across different settings to enable students to immerse themselves in real-life scenarios they may face in the workforce.
The Adelaide Health Simulation (AHS) in the University of Adelaide is the most technologically advanced simulation facility in Australasia, and the only Australian simulation facility accredited with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare for excellence in learning and teaching.