11 Dimensions of the “Medical Simulations Space”. Part 1.

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Educational Medical Simulation

In the previous article, we were discussing the importance of using medical simulations in healthcare, and we have briefly mentioned some of their types according to the kind of technology used for simulation. You now know that they are: mannequin based, screen based and virtual reality simulators. But do you know how many categories and corresponding types of medical simulation applications exist? There is no need in guessing, as the answer hides directly in the title of the article 🙂

Dimension 1: The purpose of the simulation activity.

The most prevalent aims, followed by simulation applications are medical education (for gaining skills during the introduction to the actual work) and training (for developing existing skills in performing the particular task). It is also possible to use simulation applications to assess performance of the personnel or individual clinicians. Simulation rehearsal or repetition can be used by surgeons before a complex operation. During the organizational process, some simulation applications can become a useful tool for conducting  research or investigation of human factors.

Dimension 2: The unit of participation in the simulation.

Medical students are conducting medical simulationSome of the medical simulation applications are oriented on the individual usage which is especially effective for gaining essential knowledge and skills. But in some medical institutions the so called “crew resource management” is highly developed – as a result, they use simulation applications for a team training.

Dimension 3: The experience level of simulation participants.

Medical simulation applications can be used in different directions at different levels of professionalism: for the provision of basic medical knowledge for early learners such as school pupils or college students; for deepening the existing knowledge of university medical students; for developing professional skills of interns; and for on-the-job training of the experienced personnel.

Dimension 4: The healthcare domain in which simulation is applied.

Some of the medical simulation applications are used in technical or procedural fields such as surgery, invasive cardiology etc. Meanwhile, simulations are also applicable for dynamic fields of healthcare such as high hazard intervention, anesthesia, critical care or emergency medicine. At the same time medical simulation applications may also be needed (even though, not always necessarily) for such image interpretation fields as radiology and pathology.

Dimension 5: The personnel division participating in simulation.

Various medical simulation techniques can be used not only by clinical personnel such as physicians, nurses or interns with the purpose of developing their professional skills. It is also possible that some applications may be applicable for the managing staff: in particular, managers, executives, legislators, etc. In this case simulation applications are aimed to improve an organizational process or to solve the complexities of clinical work.

To be continued…

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