Education is an essential aspect of healthcare. All healthcare professions need proper training and education to perform at their jobs. Education is not only important for beginners in nursing or medical school, but also for continuing education purposes. One source of technology used to provide training is the use of simulations. Simulations offer life-like scenarios and patients for healthcare providers to practice. Simulations include the use of patient-like mannequins. These simulation mannequins provide education and training experience that replicates the real world. Simulation-based learning with the use of interactive mannequins is a technology used to develop nurses and other healthcare professions knowledge and skills. Simulations are used in a variety of settings in health care, including medical and nursing schools, as well as hospitals.
Learning to care for and treat patients can be challenging and often intimidating for those new to the healthcare world. Proper training and practice are needed to provide excellent patient care and to instill the confidence one needs to work with patients. Simulations are a great tool to have to provide education in healthcare. Simulations enhance performances and help to reduce errors. Many nursing and medical programs use simulations to provide training and education to students. Simulation offers an environment that encourages learning and allows students to practice and ask questions of what they are unsure of or lack confidence. "Simulation-based training techniques, tools, and strategies can be applied in designing structured learning experiences, as well as be used as a measurement tool linked to targeted teamwork competencies and learning objectives" (Mielczarek, 2016). Nursing programs incorporate simulations throughout many of their classes to provide students with hands-on practice and experience.
Simulations allow students to practice in a safe, monitored environment lead by instructors proficient in their field. Simulations allow students and healthcare professionals to practice their skills with new equipment, tools, and medications. They also practice procedures and learn sterile techniques. "Medical, nursing and other healthcare staff have the opportunity to develop and refine their skills, repeatedly if necessary, using simulation technology without putting patients at risk. Simulation training centers, with their new techniques and equipment, offer unique opportunities for dynamic, complex, and unanticipated medical situations to be practiced and managed" (Mielczarek, 2016). Simulation-based learning prepares students for real-world scenarios. Practicing in a simulation reduces risks or errors to real patients. Interactive education and hands-on experience are crucial for nursing and medical students. It is essential for students to practice in simulations so they can feel comfortable, and know what they are doing when they care for real patients.
Simulation-based learning also includes the use of interactive mannequins. Mannequins are a reasonably new technology many nursing and medical programs use to provide training. Mannequins are used to provide realistic patient scenarios. Many mannequins are life-like, with moving parts, sound effects and voices. Mannequins allow students and healthcare professionals to practice on a patient, without the chance for errors or harm to come to them. Mannequin technology continues to advance, and they interact throughout the scenario and react to interventions performed (Damij & Damij, 2010). They also are attached to a monitor to provide vital signs for the patient scenario. Mannequins can be used to learn many procedures, such as Foley catheter insertion, IVs, surgical procedures and intubations.
Simulations with the use of mannequins better prepare students for the real world. The monitored, safe environment that simulations provide is ideal for new students. This provision prepares them for when they go into a real health care setting and work with patients. Simulations allow practice not only with procedures, but also communications and bedside manner.
Simulations are not only for the classroom but also for new students. Simulations are used to provide continuing education. Many hospitals and healthcare facilities use mannequins for continued training and education for their staff members. Simulations at the healthcare facility level allow for health care professions to refresh their knowledge and skill. They also teach using teamwork simulations, allowing staff to practice stressful scenarios together in preparation for a real one. Many continuing education courses are taught using simulations and mannequins. Some courses include Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Trauma Nurse Core Course. These courses use an interactive mannequin to show the proper technique (Damij & Damij, 2010). These mannequins are used frequently for continuing education and allow the practice, especially for those who do not use these skills often.
Simulations are an essential technology in healthcare. Simulations and mannequins provide education and training to a variety of healthcare professionals. They are used in nursing programs and medical school, as well as in hospitals. Simulations offer hands-on training in monitored and safe environments and prepare healthcare professions to care for patients safely.
Damij, N., & Damij, T. (January 01, 2010). Healthcare process improvement using simulation. Healthinf 2010, 422-427.
Mielczarek, B. (January 01, 2016). Review of modeling approaches for healthcare simulation. Operations Research and Decisions, 26, 55-72.
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