Let the battle begin. Faculty members at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) will face off in a “Simulation (Sim) War” as part of the school’s second annual recognition of Healthcare Simulation Week, taking place Sept. 17-21.
Simulation is the creation of realistic circumstances in order to teach skills and enhance competencies among health care professionals. Healthcare Simulation Week, sponsored by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, celebrates professionals who use simulation to improve the safety, effectiveness and efficiency of health care delivery.
Elizabeth Ziner, D.O., WVSOM’s Clinical Evaluation Center (CEC) medical director, said the facility is an outstanding location for educational opportunities.
“The Clinical Evaluation Center is a spectacular resource for our students to begin learning the practice of medicine. Human-patient simulators allow students to practice medical care in a low stakes environment. If an error in judgment or treatment is made there are no consequences for the simulator – we can simply bring it back to life. Students begin to learn critical thinking skills before going out into the real world where the stakes are high. As one can imagine, simulation improves patient safety,” Ziner said.
Two faculty teams will utilize the human-patient simulators during the Sim War, which is meant to be a fun and entertaining group exercise that also addresses critical skills, decision-making and communication among team members. Teams will consist of clinicians, Ph.D.s and graduate teaching assistants who will be presented with an unknown health scenario.
“Hosting a Faculty Sim War will allow our students to witness that this is not an intimidating event. Sim Wars are meant to be educational and entertaining,” Ziner said. “It is our hope the students will realize this while watching the Faculty Sim War and will want to participate in the Student Sim War. The students will learn invaluable skills in regards to patient treatment and they will learn how to function seamlessly as a medical team.”
In January, first- and second-year medical students will compete in their own Sim War. They will battle for bragging rights and a trophy to be displayed in the student winner’s classroom. The Sim War is one scenario where human-patient simulators are used as educational tools for medical students; however, they are used throughout the school year. WVSOM is accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.
Other activities that will take place during Healthcare Simulation Week will include a moulage demonstration where participants can receive fake cuts, wounds and scrapes, and an ice cream sundae bar.