Opportunities in Simulation Centers
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Simulation is rapidly becoming a vital component of any medical education process. As many medical and allied health professional schools move toward competency-based curriculums, objective measures of learning and structured curricula have become mandatory. Simulation is a highly efficient and effective means of learning that takes advantage of the experiential nature in which adults acquire new skills and judgment. Simulation is a partial solution for training multiple competencies simultaneously while in a controlled setting and assuring patient safety. Traditional training methods in medicine rely primarily on a didactic lecture format followed by performance of procedures by trainees on real patients. This aspect of the traditional training model introduces significant stresses and risks for both patients and the inexperienced trainees. Simulation allows us to bridge the gap between the classroom and the “real-life” experience. This is accomplished by challenging the trainee to make critical decisions and witness the results of those decisions in a controlled environment without risk to patient safety. Furthermore, simulation training supplies the educator with tools to create a limitless variety of scenarios for high-acuity, infrequently occurring clinical events. This gives trainees an opportunity to experience these events, wrestle with the difficulties involved, and do so at times that can be scheduled into a planned program, again without risk to human life.