3 Discovery Simulation Practices that Can Benefit Education Programs

Rescuer CPR Discovery Simulation

Advanced hospitals run discovery simulations regularly to review internal processes. Discovery simulations identify complications in processes, resources, and knowledge. Once the problems are identified, supervisors are able to adjust processes to avoid medical errors.

Sometimes, facilities use discovery simulations only after an error is made in order to determine the cause. Unfortunately, this method of fact-finding is inadequate because it teaches the educator or supervisor to identify pain points rather than leading to the development of stronger skills for students and participants.

Discovery simulations can be used at institutions of learning to identify student progress and retention.

Advantages of Discovery Simulations in Education

  • Surprise: In a clinical environment, participants don’t know they are in a simulation until they enter the room and see the manikin. This ensures participant response matches a real code and increases discovery accuracy. Ex situ, in-class simulations won’t offer the urgency of a clinical environment but can still show a more authentic representation of student skills. Consider creating an emergency situation outside of class.
  • Intentional disruption: Discoveries also incorporate intentionally disruptive participants. During a code, a participant will enter, take the lead, and advocate the wrong strategy. He or she is asked to continue disrupting progress until other participants can take control of the scenario. Preparing a student to disrupt a simulation can test other students’ ability to identify inappropriate conduct and remove the problem.
  • Task delegation: In an emergency, students won’t have administrative oversight. Young professionals should be prepared to lead a situation, including delegating work, supervising progress, and identifying complications. Try running a scenario with a designated leader to test task management and communications skills.

While scenarios promote realism and reduce medical errors, isolated skill scenarios are free from much of the critical thinking and confusion present in emergency situations Discovery simulations in education can help instructors refine their scenarios and curriculum to enhance student education.

Dr. James Colquitt, Ph.D, RRT contributed insight on this article. Dr.Colquitt has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare, and is currently Assistant Professor and Simulation Specialist at Mercer University School of Medicine and Medical Simulationist at Navicent Health. Some of this content came from Dr. Colquitt’s presentation at SimGHOSTS 2017, “Mock In-Hospital Code Drills.”

Evan Stiger is Marketing Coordinator at Pocket Nurse.

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