5 Questions for EMS Scenario Building

EMS instructors are changing programs in favor of more immersive, hands-on learning, which challenges students to think quickly and creatively. With limited time and resources, scenario-building can have all the urgency of a medical emergency. EMSWorld suggests the best scenarios are built on simple questions.

Why are we doing this?
This is the most important question. One of the biggest benefits of immersive simulation is the ability to test several skills at once. In order to be an effective use of time, the scenario should challenge students to assess the situation, adapt to changes, and perform medical procedures simultaneously. If you can’t prove its value in each objective, rethink the time commitment.

Is this how it would be in a clinical setting?
Once the scenario is designed, ask how it compares to a real-life scenario. The goal here is two-fold: 1) That students buy into the significance of the experience, and 2) That it challenges learners appropriately. There is no such thing as too much detail, especially when testing higher-level skills. Everything — down to the clothing learners wear — can impact how they value the lesson. Learner buy-in increases engagement and recall.

Are students fully aware of the lessons?
A scenario can’t accomplish any objectives if the students aren’t made aware of what they’re learning. The teaching process doesn’t end when the simulation is finished. A thorough de-briefing process is an integral part of the program.

Are students ready for anything?
Performing BLS isn’t the same as performing BLS at night. Checking an airway isn’t the same as checking an airway in a car. Emergency response doesn’t happen in a well-lit, climate-controlled classroom. Instruction can’t cover all the possibilities, but simulation can relieve some of the anxiety of working outside reasonable circumstances.

Where can we get more insights on best practices?
Professional organizations like EMSWorld and JEMS have an eagle-eye view of education and simulation programs, making them a great start. Other professionals and educators can offer more detailed suggestions. Students themselves are an often underutilized resource. They can (and likely will) tell you what is and what isn’t working.

Bonus Question: Do we have the right equipment?
Pocket Nurse® prides itself on its product-educated sales and customer service staff and good, better, best products. Find exactly what your program needs, such as the Nursing Anne (SimPad® Plus Capable) Manikin or Smart STAT Advanced with IPAD® Controls Manikin.

Source: Using Simulation To Think Outside the Box, presented by Richard Latham, sponsored by Laerdal® and EMSWorld

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