How did you get into healthcare simulation?
I had a passing knowledge of this thing called “medical simulation,” when I came across a job posting for a “simulation technician” on our health system website. Prior to that my only experience had been doing compressions on an Annie during CPR class or doing an assessment on a classmate during EMT class. I was fortunate to actually get the job, and I’ve had the time of my life since.
What do you like most about healthcare simulation?
The part of simulation that I absolutely like the most is when you can palpably observe the moment that someone has a learning break through. Seeing one of those “a-ha” moments makes my day complete, and helps me feel that my time and efforts have been fruitful. I always come away satisfied when I hear one of our participants say “I learned something today.”I don’t believe there are many jobs where you can get that level of feedback on a consistent basis, and also have the ability to collaborate with a group of some of the most talented people I’ve ever met.
What is most challenging about healthcare simulation?
I find two major challenges, and I can’t say that one is greater than the other. Firstly, there’s technology. When it works properly it is one of the greatest teaching tools that exist. Of course, when it doesn’t cooperate, that is where my job engages. If only it would cooperate on a consistent basis. Secondly, something I feel personally challenged with is winning over the naysayers that inevitably manifest in simulation. In my role, I am totally invested in simulation as a teaching tool, and one of my biggest challenges is getting all the participants in our simulation programs to find a comfortable level of belief in the methodology. This can be a rewarding endeavor when you are successful.
With the knowledge gained through becoming certified, how has this transformed and benefited your work as a healthcare simulationist?
I feel like one of the biggest benefits I have received from the certifications is a validation that everything I’ve been doing is in line with the norms of the industry. There was a general feeling when I left the tests of “hey, I must be doing most things correctly.”
What do you do in healthcare simulation?
I have varied roles, with responsibilities relating to both the actual simulations, as well as to the operation of our center. I have responsibility regarding the daily set up and break down of our simulation sessions. I am also responsible for being one of the people who actually operate the simulators on a daily basis (we call them a “wizard”). I am also directly responsible for our operational calendar. Nothing gets onto our calendar without my seeing and approving it first. I am responsible for tracking and scheduling the other sim techs in our daily operation, as well as trying to provide them with support and guidance to do the best job possible. I serve as a mentor for the sim techs and help them attain their probationary and annual competencies in our center. Additionally, I serve as a Point of Contact (or back up Point of Contact) for some of our programs. We have adopted this system to make things a little more manageable and to help our end users communicate with our sim center by limiting the number of people they have to interact with. Regarding our bigger institution (my sim center is part of our health system’s corporate university), I am also responsible for all Procurement issues.
o Videos (need to link to offsite location, we can’t store most likely)
o Cases or scenarios or activities that have been developed. We have a large case library, all of which has been developed and programmed by hand by our staff. I am responsible for some of that work that went into that case library.
o Unique items developed (ART-S and IPE areas)