While other industries like aerospace, mining, and the military have been using simulation-based training for decades, health care is still in its infancy when it comes to adopting training simulators. There are dozens of great medical training simulators on the market today, many of them help save lives and money by allowing trainees to a high-level of training. Few of them are required by accreditation councils, but that might all be about to change.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Board of Directors approved the following revision to the Program Requirements for Anesthesiology at their February, 2011 meeting:
“IV.A.6 Residents must participate in at least one simulated clinical experience each year.”
The Review Committee does not require that any program use a formal simulation center, however programs are encouraged to incorporate surgeons and nurses into the simulation experience. The Committee states that:
“Residents must participate in at least one yearly simulated intraoperative clinical experience that serves to improve and assess medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, systems-based practice, and/or practice-based learning and improvement.”
The Committee believes that the simulation assessment tools are equally important as the training tools, in order to ensure that the participants receive meaningful assessments. Training simulators are leading the way when it comes to improving medical education, ultimately leading to higher levels of patient health and safety.
The benefits of training simulators have been proven by other industries for decades, and it stands to reason that the health care industry will benefit as well. Simulation-based training has the potential to have a huge impact on all aspects of medical training, everything from screening patients, to conducting laboratory-based training, to surgical practice. What sets simulation-based training apart from other methods of training is that it provides a safe environment for students to fail in. Trainees can learn from their mistakes that are made during a simulation session, as opposed to mistakes made in the real-world that cause patients to suffer.