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Learning to use Simulation as an Emergency Specialist


In August this year, Emergency Specialist at University Hospital Geelong in Victoria, Laura Berkeley took part in an intensive, four-day Simulation as a Teaching Tool program, where she learned to use simulation to better communicate with her team and create a safer learning environment.

“I’m regularly required to provide simulation-based training with my teams, but in my role as an Emergency Specialist, I’m required to debrief and give feedback to colleagues and staff every day.

The program draws upon disciplines of psychology, experiential learning and organisational behaviour in healthcare in aviation, to help participants develop their skills in delivering safe and effective simulation-based learning.

For me, learning to reflect on my use of language and communication, and recognise bad communication habits and how that might come across to others, was invaluable.

I’m now confident in how I frame my language to create a better – and safer – learning environment for my team.

“I’d never received formal training in simulation and I really wanted to learn for myself, to be a better educator.”

“The program was outstanding. From the basic building blocks of simulation and debriefing, understanding the importance of good judgement, and learning to write and conduct your own simulation, the program was cleverly interspersed and hands-on.

“As a learner, I found it incredibly challenging but very exciting. You’re thrown in the deep end, but never in an uncomfortable way.

“The faculty from Mater Education and the Center for Medical Simulation created an incredible learning environment, and I’ve been able to put so much of what I’ve learned into practice since returning to work.

“The debriefing and communication tools particularly, have encouraged me to dig deeper and discover more about people I’m working with and the reasoning behind what and how they approach certain tasks.

“It’s been really useful for life on a day-to-day basis; in fact, I’ve used some of the skills with my kids!

“I don’t want to ruin any surprises, but just like in the real world, there are lots of things thrown in the mix to keep you on your toes when you least expect it. I certainly hope to return in February 2019 for the follow-up Advanced Debriefing course, to strengthen my debriefing and communication skills even further.”

Mater Education develops, implements and evaluates a range of simulation and faculty development programs to help organisations improve feedback, debriefing and psychological safety and strengthen their knowledge, skills and teamwork and establish a confident and competent contemporary health workforce.

Simulation as a Teaching Tool is hosted by Mater Education and delivered by international leaders in the field of clinical simulation from the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS), through its Institute of Medical Simulation instructor training program.