Jamie, what types of skills do you practice in Clinical Skills and Simulation?
I lead a 1st year and a third-year module as part of the Operating Department Practice programme and try to encompass as many simulated activities a possible to facilitate learning or to cement recently acquired theoretical knowledge.
For the First-Year module (Fundamentals of anaesthetic and surgical practice), clinical skills and simulation sessions include:
- Practice scenarios in greeting a patient, performing safety checks and application of basic cardiovascular monitoring to a Service User.
- The basic introduction to a surgical environment, using specialist equipment, instrumentation and sterile drapes.
- Consolidation scenarios at the end of the taught content which involve several simulated scenarios, facilitated by the lecturer, with the aim of linking newly taught theoretical knowledge to clinical application.
For the Third-year module (Emergency Care in the Peri-operative environment), sessions include:
- Basic to advanced airway management techniques
- Immediate Life Support skills
- Patient clinical assessment
- Transfer simulation. Here the students are immersed in a real time, simulated scenario involving the transfer of a critically ill patient…who inevitably deteriorates en-route to their destination!
How beneficial is simulation in your programme?
The feedback from the students is overwhelmingly positive and I would love to incorporate more clinical skills sessions in to my modules.
What’s your favourite session to run with your students in Clinical Skills and Simulation?
I really enjoy the transfer session. Due to its immersive nature, the students fully engage in all of the required skills and are forced to make appropriate clinical decisions.
At the end of the session there is a thorough debrief and feedback element and it is only then that the students appreciate how much knowledge and skills they actually possess! Lightbulb moment.
What is your favourite piece of kit and why?
The interactive monitor and Simpad. I am familiar with the Laerdal technology which helps but the Simpad is really easy to navigate which enables me, as the session facilitator, to engage with the session content specifically as opposed to having to concentrate on pressing the buttons on the monitor controller.
What ‘Top Tip’ would you give to our students attending a session in Clinical Skills and Simulation?
Just remember, all clinical skills and simulation sessions are learning activities not summative assessments. To enable maximal learning to occur, students need to fully immerse themselves in to the activity and not worry about making mistakes!