August Presidential message - Simulationists need to advocate more than ever > The Society for Simulation in Healthcare

Hi, fellow Simulationists! I hope you are healthy, coping with our new normal and being as creative with simulation as ever!

As SSH Immediate Past-President, I was planning on attending various meetings all over the country with President Bob Armstrong and President-Elect Juli Maxworthy. BUT, that did not happen.

Conferences put on by HIMMS, INACSL, SESAM, ASPE, AONL, and NLN all either postponed their meetings or moved to online. And, when I say online, that varies depending on the level of technology used and what each conference’s objectives were. SSH also recently dove into the all-virtual event pool with SimOps DELIVERS … and we are pleased to report it was a tremendous success. Thanks to all of you who attended, all who presented, and to the SSH staff who pivoted the event in short order and helped make it a success!


The in-person-to-virtual exercise was just one of several latest examples of the fast-changing educational environment and the resulting emergence of challenges.

For the past several months, organizations have had to quickly move to convert to screen-based education to meet the needs of our learners. One of the biggest disciplines in SSH, nursing, has struggled with this to meet statewide regulatory requirements.

In California alone, there were over 14,000 soon-to-graduate nursing students, some of whom only needed 30 hours of clinical to graduate and, who suddenly faced no clinical placements. Quickly, schools of nursing moved to screen-based education using simulation in a virtual manner, yet many of the faculty were not trained in simulation or debriefing.

All states’ boards of nursing created emergency waivers for simulation to be used in place of clinical, and those states varied from 25-100 percent. This is still going on as hospitals are limiting clinical placements or cancelling them all together. Simulation has always been a disrupter in healthcare education and, as we collect data using simulation during the pandemic, I know that the education system will never look the same.

This is the time for simulationists to step forward with new, innovative ways of delivering content in a meaningful way in a distance format. Make sure you download the SSH/INACSL position statement on the use of virtual simulation during the pandemic.


Meanwhile, many simulation centers have been faced with lay-offs or furloughs, while others report they are busier than ever. Now is the time to continue to show simulation’s value. Please continue your efforts to advocate for simulation. It is now more important than ever.

The more innovative you are in your efforts and programs, the better we will be as a community. And, you can showcase your successful programs (your response to COVID-19, for example) during Healthcare Simulation Week (September 14-20)! By now, you should have access to the Healthcare simulation Toolkit on the SSH website. Take a look and order what you need for you and your teams to participate and/or celebrate you as a healthcare simulationist, your simulation program, and your industry!

I want to take a quick moment here to acknowledge SSH President Armstrong for his work on creating a policy statement on racism, prejudice, and brutality. He is creating a Diversity Task Force to address diversity within both the healthcare simulation industry and our membership. Additionally, he is forming a Health Equity Working Group to establish and open the freely available Addressing Implicit Bias curriculum. (Click here for more information.)

IMSH 2021 IS A GO!

At this time, the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) is scheduled to occur in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 9-13, 2021. We have no intention of canceling the conference; however, it may become necessary to change the conference format and delivery in order to adhere to safety guidelines and restrictions. SSH is developing contingency strategies for IMSH, among them a virtual option for those who are unable to attend. SSH will continue to monitor the situation relevant to IMSH 2021, and will promptly communicate any updates to the community.

I look forward to seeing you online, via Zoom, and hopefully in person soon! Be strong, be safe, continue to advocate for simulation, and do not forget to document your outcomes! Follow me on Twitter: @KTWaxman.

Best regards,


SSH Past President

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