Archive January 2018

Why Realism Matters

Why Realism Matters

Have you ever been through a CPR course where the time comes for applying what you’ve learned and the instructor says “Pretend that you’re skiing in a forest and you see someone hit a tree.  Aaaaaand….go CPR”.  What?! This doesn’t make any sense at all. You look around the environment (which is generally a classroom), complete a scene survey and feel out of place. Why are there no trees? Do you see a skier?  The disjoint of what the instructor is saying and what you see is really confusing and this approach might not be setting you; the learner, up for success. There’s no opportunity for you to synthesize the information and use all of your senses to make sound judgment and apply knowledge.  I’m not trying to pick on CPR courses, but realism matters.

When designing a learning experience it is necessary to create a scenario or situation that is believable and somewhat realistic. If your scenario involves a skier, there needs to be one.  If you are supposedly on a ski slope, there needs to be evidence. In simulation-based education, there is a concept termed as the “suspension of disbelief”, which means that we know there are some things in the situation which are not entirely accurate or believable. It also means that we try our best with the materials and information that we are given. For example, we know that a patient simulator is not 100% human, however, we will do our best in the given context. We understand that the simulator can be reset in any event or human performance.

In critical scenarios where injuries are apparent, it is vital that the simulator demonstrates the extent of trauma or injury. In other words, the situation needs to make sense to the learner. If the scenario is designed to have active bleeding and wounds, there needs to be simulated blood and trauma. The learner will synthesize this information and the brain will transmit signals such as “Wow, this is important, I need to treat this” response. If the scenario is designed after a fall and head trauma, the scene needs to reflect that.

Realism in simulation matters. The more realistic the design of the situation is, the more accurate the learner response can be. If you want to see what realistic trauma wounds can look like in simulation, take a peek at some of our designs here and let me know what you think.

Cheers,

Matthew

P.S. If you know of any colleagues that might be interested in our blog, I would really appreciate it.

About the Author: Matthew Jubelius 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 www.amoveotraining.ca

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Technical Skills and Soft Skills: Why We Should Care

Technical Skills and Soft Skills: Why We Should Care

The medical field is pretty challenging and the stakes are high. Errors can be very costly. Simulation-based education in healthcare has made great strides since the 1990s.

While many simulation experiences focus on the technical abilities such as being able to put in an IV on the patient simulator, CPR, etc., is there more to immersive experiences than the application of technical skills? Of course! “Soft skills” are equally important to learn as well.

Observing immersive experiences is fascinating. In a simulated critical situation, teams learn to effectively communicate and every team is different. There are technical skills that are absolutely required, however, we are seeing in literature that teams with clear leadership can improve patient outcomes.

Skills such as effective communication, leadership and collaboration can make a significant difference. A leader that scans the horizon for key issues and can communicate to the team, while involving them based on strengths will be more effective than a team that fights inner battles about trivial issues.

The ability to apply both soft and technical skills that is the key to success. This week, what will you focus on to be a leader? Try something different like asking more questions or lend a helpful hand to a team member. See what works and share the good news.

Be Amazing,

Matthew

Mentors

Mentors

As I reflect well over the past decade as a registered nurse, simulationist, educator, and administrator, I have realized that my own development would not be possible without the guidance of mentors. I am thankful for those who have taught, inspired me and helped me grow.

I’m reminded of one of my early mentors, Norrie Fuller who said: “Everything is easy when you know it”. These words inspired me to learn more; to ask even more questions and most importantly, develop a solid work ethic.

Mentors enter (and exit) our lives and perhaps we don’t give them the proper credit that they deserve. These people coach us to learn; to deal with, and avoid pitfalls that they may have endured when they were first learning. Through their experiences, mentors have walked the path and laid foundations well before us. Dear mentors, thank you for establishing sound practices and tradition. The knowledge of your time has helped many generations evolve and grow.

As I look at the debriefing aspects of simulation, this is part of a mentoring process. Learners reflect on their own performance and coupled with the guidance of instructors, are able to avoid future pitfalls and potentially compromising situations as future practitioners. The modeling process allows corrective behaviors to be addressed. Is learning finished when the debriefing session is over? No. The words and teachings of instructors and mentors echo for days in the receptive individual. To share meaningful and teachable moments can impact trainees and inspire people over the course of a lifetime.

I believe in mentorship and still have mentors to this day. I believe that there are amazing people who want to be a mentor. If you’re curious or don’t know where to start, step forward and ask about how to get involved in your community.

Remember the person who mentored and helped you learn about your craft? Pick up the phone or send them an email and thank them for showing you the way. I’m sure that they would be extremely happy to hear from you.

Stay Amazing,

Matthew

About the Author: Matthew Jubelius 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 www.amoveotraining.ca

Risking Safety to “Stretch the Budget”

Risking Safety to “Stretch the Budget”

Academic budgets. Man, they can be tough. It’s such a challenging and balancing act of maximizing your department finances and let’s face it; simulations can be expensive. There are a lot of consumables that SIM centres go through and I completely respect the practice of reusing items when necessary to be financially responsible. In the reality of trying to maximize budget spending and well-intended actions, sometimes there can be risks to safety.

Risk: Expired Medications

When someone wants to donate expired supplies such as medications, it’s awesome that someone is thinking of your simulation program. Before adding these to your consumables inventory, you need to consider if there is a risk to staff or learner safety. An example is a donation from a hospital including a bag expired paralytic agents. In a busy academic SIM centre (or any facility), things can “disappear” or “walk off” which is a chilling thought and can cause catastrophic effects. Do yourself, your colleagues, staff and students a favor – Please, never keep or use live medications in a simulated learning environment. There are plenty of ways to mitigate this risk including the safe disposal of expired medications. You can purchase placebo or simulated medications from different vendors and refill used vials/bags with sterile water and reuse when appropriate. Don’t let a well-intended donation be the reason someone could get hurt.

Risk: Unsafe DIY Attempts

Let’s talk about simulated wounds. I’ll be straightforward, there are many DIY attempts floating on the internet and people can be easily swayed by the words “free and cheap”! Some are outright dangerous. I saw several videos out there on how to create a wearable wound from construction caulking because “it’s cheaper than buying from a vendor and I have a tight budget”. WOW! This is bad news and still makes me shudder! Do not ever use caulking on your skin, it’s not safe and can cause health problems down the road. If you’re in a situation where using toxic chemicals on people to save a few bucks sounds like a viable option, please stop and reflect on this. Then, have a frank discussion with your administrator on why you need proper materials. Don’t shortcut safety.

Full disclosure, seeing these unsafe DIY attempts is one of the reasons why Amoveo Training created a realistic, reusable, high quality, skin-safe and durable product line at an affordable price. The other reason is our clients asked us. Shameless plug alert, you can see our products at www.amoveotraining.ca

I’m all for efficiency and helping maximize budgets, but please do not do it at the risk of potentially harming learners or other team members. Simulation is about safety. Sit down with your purchasing committees, teams and ask questions about what types of products that you will have in your SIM centres. It may mean that you have to plan and develop a policy on items such as receiving certain donations, but it is necessary to perform due diligence.

Be Safe,

Matthew

Reflect and Reset

Reflect and Reset

Happy New Year to you and all of your loved ones! I hope that you feel well rested and had the opportunity to make special memories with family and friends. 2018 is firing up and people generally do a lot of goal setting with the best of intentions and reflecting on the year that was.

Reflection is a powerful tool that allows us to think about how things are going in our lives. We take stock of our successes and celebrate those wins (which is very important). We also reflect on things that perhaps didn’t go so well. Maybe we started out 2017 with a passion for getting in shape and that didnt happen. Perhaps we set a goal to become more mindful and got lost along the way of digital distractions, reading about what thousands of people had for lunch or where they “checked in”. Maybe, we just felt beat down and 2017 was just a really tough year.

The great news is that 2017 is in the past and it’s time to look ahead. It’s time to reset and recommit to what you want from life in 2018.

If you’re an educator, perhaps your goal is to become reinvigorated in teaching your students. If you’re a healthcare professional, maybe you want to find that passion for helping patients. Perhaps you want to learn more about your field. Maybe, you just want to see what going the extra mile looks like to you this year. Whatever your vocation or situation is, there’s an awesome opportunity for you in 2018.

So, what are you going to commit to? For me, I am committing to my health, family and business. I have an awesome friend, Timothy who years ago, shared these words: “Be excellent in all things”.

To me, this means placing effort into my health and doing specific activities that give me the benefits of a healthy mind, body and spirit. My family relationships deserve my best energy; they’re the people who are always in my corner. Amoveo Training is an extension of who I am, passionate about delivering results for patient safety and quality improvement. I commit to developing and maintaining important relationships with likeminded people that help increase patient and learner safety and create a safer systems.

The time is here. It’s time to reset and commit. My wish for you; to echo my friend’s words, is to be excellent in all things. You just need to choose what you want to be excellent in.

Be Awesome,

Matthew

 

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

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