You’ve made the business case for purchasing (including the extended maintenance agreement), celebrated the approval from your supervisor and have been waiting patiently for your new simulator to show up. And then, it finally happened.
You unbox the high fidelity patient simulator and laptop(s), assemble the fluid ports, cables, cords and so on. You stand back and admire the pristine look of the simulator and perhaps dream of how you’ll impact the world of teaching and learning. Someone calls you and says “let’s do a simulation this afternoon”. Excitedly, you say “YES!”…but here’s why you should say “I love your enthusiasm, but let’s reschedule for a later date.”
New technology is pretty appealing, but without understanding how your simulator functions on-site could mean some unnecessary technological and professional relationship hiccups.
If you’re running a wireless connection, how does it perform? What’s the actual distance that your connection can really perform at? Is the software lagging? What about wireless interference? Do cell phones cause connection issues? If you’re using wireless cameras for recording and debriefing, do they cause any issues? I encourage you to be very curious at this stage and test, test, TEST your simulator and environment before running scenarios!
You’ve read the instructions, filled the fluid ports and feel like you are ready to start running scenarios. Have you considered failure and contingency planning? Discussing this with your teams will definitely help you and your program. Dealing with a massive technological failure mid-scenario can be embarrassing and frustrating to you, learners and instructors. Not knowing how to deal with failures can add even more stress to the situation. Do some risk analysis and draft up a plan of “if XYZ happens, the next steps are…”
It’s always exciting to receive new technology, however, there’s a lot of planning that should be considered from the time that the simulator arrives and when actual simulations are being performed. By planning, testing and refining actual performance and processes, your simulation teams can alleviate many potential headaches.
About the Author: Matthew Jubelius wants to change the future of education and training. He has championed the design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry, and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through www.amoveotraining.ca