HOW DID YOU GET INTO HEALTHCARE SIMULATION?
When I retired from my career as a gastroenterologist, I went into healthcare teaching. My first job came under a Department of Defense Grant to set up disaster training at the University South Florida College of Medicine. The training used high fidelity manikins, which started my career in simulation. After our experience using simulation for disaster training, we expanded the use of simulation and high fidelity simulators into multiple aspects of the medical training for the College of Nursing and the College of Medicine. We continue expanding the use of simulation.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT HEALTHCARE SIMULATION?
What I like is giving the students hands-on experience in life-like situations prior to working with live patients. The students absolutely love the simulations and the chance to have hands-on practice and experience that prepares them for real-life situations. More than anything else, I love the enthusiasm of the students as they go through the simulations. They truly appreciate the opportunities to prepare that the simulations provide.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT HEALTHCARE SIMULATION?
Probably the most challenging part is the extra time and effort it takes to adequately prepare and provide the simulation activities. Since most simulation activities are best done with a small group (6-8 students at a time) it is sometimes difficult for all of the students to go through a simulation experience. The medical school class has approximately 180 students, so it requires a significant time commitment to process all 180 students through a simulation experience on high fidelity manikins.
WITH THE KNOWLEDGE GAINED THROUGH BECOMING CERTIFIED, HOW HAS THIS TRANSFORMED AND BENEFITED YOUR WORK AS A HEALTHCARE SIMULATIONIST?
Becoming certified helped me gain more insight and knowledge into the simulation practices throughout the country and put best practices into place at our institution.
What do you do in healthcare simulation?
I have incorporated high fidelity simulations into all of the American Heart Association ACLS and PALS training. This better trains our medical students and residents to perform as a code team in the hospital or in critical care situations. I have also incorporated high fidelity simulations into the basic science courses to help medical students correlate what they learn to real life clinical situations. In addition, I have incorporated high fidelity tasks trainers and simulations into various aspects of the medical student’s clerkship years to help train them in both complicated procedures and in emergency and intensive care clinical situations.
I also had a unique simulation opportunity to create simulations as a part of the American Board of Disaster Medicine Board Examination certification process. We had experienced physicians take this simulation examination. Afterwards, they stated that it mimicked their real life experiences in Iraq and other disaster situations throughout the world. I wrote up an abstract and poster on the simulation experience. The abstract and poster will be presented at IMSH 2016 and at the IPRED IV (International Conference on Preparedness and Response in Disasters) in Tel Aviv, Israel in January 2016.
In addition, I had the great honor of helping a group of U.S. Army Combat Medics who fly Blackhawk helicopter missions in Afghanistan. Prior to their deployment, they received medical training on high fidelity manikins. With the help of their Sargent and other experienced Combat Military Medics, we created realistic scenarios that they later told us were invaluable in preparing them for their year-long mission in Afghanistan.