Harare Hospital Mulls Simulation-Based Medical Education

HARARE Central Hospital (HCH) is planning to establish an innovation and simulation hub to equip nursing students and staff in latest medical learning trends.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

In an interview with HealthTimes, HCH Clinical Director Dr Christopher Pasi said the simulation-based medical education (SBME) will help students and staff a great deal in reducing medical errors.

The innovation and simulation hub will help students and staff by having a virtual learning system where resources will be available online. They will be helped in things like setting up of equipment. This will be available to staff and students equipping them with trending concepts,”he said.

He said the project is being spearheaded by the Hospital’s board.

“It’s in the planning phase and I can’t exactly say when this will be up and running. And as you are aware of the changing economic environment we are trying to be as innovative approaching different stakeholders to have this,” Dr Pasi said.

According to researchers, simulation based medical education is increasingly recommended, as an educational strategy and for improving patient safety.

Aggrawal et al in a paper define Simulation as a technique to replace or amplify real-patient experiences with guided experiences, artificially contrived,that evokes or replicates substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive manner.’

“As an educational strategy, simulation provides the opportunity for learning that is both immersive and experiential. Thus, to improve education and ultimately enhance patient safety, healthcare professionals are using simulation in many forms including simulated and virtual patients, static and interactive manikin simulators, task trainers, screen-based (computer) simulations and ‘serious’ gaming’,” they say.

The Academy Of Professional Development (AoPD) says simulation in healthcare can improve participants skills and allow them to learn from error.

“Learners are able to gain a greater understanding about the consequences of their actions and the need to reduce any errors and prevent them from happening again.

“Simulation offers participative learning, and supports the teaching / learning of Adults.
Rather than sitting through a training lecture, trainees can practice what they have learnt, and quickly learn from any mistakes without serious implications,” the academy says.

With simulation, learners address hands-on and thinking skills, including knowledge-in-action, procedures, decision-making, and effective communication.

“They can work as individuals or teams and thus allow for exploration of human factors and their interaction with their environment. Simulation based learning can be set up at appropriate times and locations, and repeated as often as necessary. It can be undertaken in-situ with minimal resources, or it can be undertaken in amazingly high technology simulation centres,” says AoPD.

AoPD adds that simulation based learning can be customised to suit beginners, intermediates and experts, and adapted on the fly to cater for the learners ability.

“Simulation has links to the educational theories of constructivism, experiential learning, Adult Learning (androgogy), social cognitive theory, (Bandura) human factor education. It can be seen to support the academic theories surrounding Brain Based Learning  Simulation may – deepen the learning conversation, improve motivation, assist with the Novice to Expert by providing scaffolding and opportunities to develop an understanding from another participants perspective,” the academy says.

The academy adds that feedback can be given to learners immediately and allow them to understand exactly what went wrong or right and how they can improve. “Debriefing tools – video feedback and peer review are all key features of this learning strategy.

Most importantly our learners don’t have to wait for a real situation to come up in order to learn. – This has spawned the concept of “stress inoculation training” which will also be discussed in a later article. Stress inoculation training is used widely in EMS and Military based education.
Simulation based curricula have been developed in Nursing education and many traditional EMS education programmes have moved towards a blend of strategies – steadily seeing a removal of the traditional lecture based – force fed type of learning,” says AoPD.

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