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In it’s broadest sense simulation is imitation. Simulation allows us to emphasise an important aspect of reality that helps us to focus your attention on an important aspect of the simulation.

Why Simulation in General Practice

Health professionals have to communicate supremely well to be successful in their careers. During patient consultations, they need to present themselves with clarity, integrity, oppenness, authenticity and confidence. There is a great deal of emphasis on rehearsing the techniques that ensure GP’s are patient-centred and to fine tune their interpersonal skills. Using actors to simulate a ‘real’ patient encounter is a fundamental teaching strategy that is used to train general practitioners and their teams. In this way simulation is not a new concept to medical education.

General Practitioners are in the front line of the National Health Service and encounter all varieties of medical emergencies on a daily basis. This is both in hours and in the Out of Hours settings. During a chaotic acute illness presentation it is vital that the correct diagnosis is made and the appropriate treatment is initiated in a safe and timely manner. When it comes to dealing with such medical emergencies these skills must be displayed with spontaneity.

Using Manikins that can communicate helps to create a realistic scenario where health professionals’ can practice their diagnostic and treatment skills in a safe environment. Furthermore, these manikins have physiological parameters such as pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and breath sounds that can test the diagnostic abilities of participants. These physiological signs can be adapted in response to the interventions that are made by the participant to enhance the learning experience.

Human Factors Training for GP and Community Teams

Emergency patient encounters can be stressful and when we are under the spotlight weird stuff can happen to our bodies, gestures and voices. There are things which we do naturally in the spotlight (presentations, meetings, critical conversations) that make it easy for people to hear us. In an emergency there are things we do which get in the way of us communicating brilliantly. A major component of the debrief during simulation training is to highlight the importance of effective communication amongst all the people involved in caring for the acutely unwell person.

Benefits of Simulation for You

The fundamental aim of simulation training is to explore what does and doesn’t work for each participant when they are involved in an emergency situation. The simulated clinical experience helps the clinician to leave with small changes that can have a significant impact on the people he/she communicates with. This is an enormously rewarding, confidence-boosting and thought provoking part of a typical simulation session as participants leave with tangible ideas that could improve their personal performance.


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