How Simulation Builds Organizational Culture

Let’s face it, simulation is a very powerful tool for learning. With foundations in aviation and military applications, more evidence is growing in its many medical benefits. Healthcare educators plan for the development and integration into curriculum and simulation-based education is picking up momentum. While many instructors are comfortable being behind the scenes and observing student performance when was the last time an instructor took part in a simulation experience as a learner? This key question can advance your SIM program by leaps and bounds, or delay it. Why? Organizational culture.

Workplace culture affects us all. It shows us what behaviours are generally accepted and culture reflects where we work. For example, in some academic settings, people stick to their own groups and we refer to this as being in a silo. Doctors train with doctors, nurses with nurses, paramedics with paramedics and so on. For some organizations, this is the norm. It’s a very old school way of learning, but it’s true. It exists.

Let’s introduce simulation-based education into the picture. The silo-based organizational culture shouts from the rooftops “Simulation is the best!”, “We need to train more [insert whichever healthcare profession you like] with the simulators” and other evangelical statements. Depending on how entrenched the organizational culture is, watch what happens when another faculty wants to take part in simulation. All of a sudden, statements like “this is OURS”, “We get priority over faculty XYZ” and all sorts of unproductive comments come out. Suddenly, it becomes impossible to collaborate due to budget restrictions, faculty release time and other administrative excuses. These are red flags about organizational culture.

Wait a second? Isn’t this whole education thing about helping learners? It sure is. If you want to advance your program, it starts with the instructor champions. Want to incorporate interdisciplinary simulations in your organization? Involve your champions. Lead by example and have students watch the instructors is a simulation experience. I bet that you will have a ton of people who see the value of breaking down those educational silos.

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About the Author: Matthew Jubelius is a subject matter expert in healthcare simulation. He is a consultant, educator and wants to change the future of people development, 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 for simulation consulting, program development, employee training and speaking engagements.

#simulation #safety #education #qualityimprovement

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