SIMULATION ENVIRONMENTS FOR LESS
If you’ve ever seen a holiday blockbuster film then you’ve probably been transported to a faraway place—a planet at the outer reaches of a futuristic solar system, backstage at a rock concert, or the front lines of World War II—maybe without even realizing it was happening. Healthcare simulation labs require a similar suspension of disbelief for students to receive a truly immersive and effective education. There is an ever-growing body of tools that can help accomplish a high-fidelity simulation environment, including manikins, AV technology, and medical devices. But creating a seamless, realistic simulation doesn’t come cheap, and most universities and other training facilities don’t have the same budget as a Hollywood studio. So, how can you get the tools you need to create a high-fidelity simulation experience, and how do you get them on a budget? Get your popcorn ready and keep reading to find out.
There are some instances—for example when you are choosing formal attire or a piece of decorative furniture—when form trumps function. In the case of audiovisual technology for a command and control center, however, form and function go hand in hand to help operators quickly receive and process information required to monitor and respond to specific incidents quickly and effectively.
If you’ve ever invested in technology only to learn later that it needs to be rewired, reconnected, or even replaced, you know that can be both frustrating and expensive. You may end up spending more by having to replace cables, tear out walls or ceilings, or even find a more effective solution altogether. It’s especially discouraging if you hired a company to help but you still didn’t get the results you needed. If that’s happened to you, you’re not alone.
Creating a functioning, respected healthcare simulation program can be a daunting task. Technology is an increasingly important part of healthcare education, but when planning a simulation lab, you’re doing more than just outfitting a building with cameras and manikins—you’re planning to meet quality, compliance, and educational standards for years to come. A successful healthcare simulation lab will require complex technologies that must be expertly integrated. Fortunately, the right technology partner can ease the burden and help you strategize for success.
Treating a gasping patient who’s reported severe shortness of breath or a postpartum mother who’s hemorrhaging can overwhelm a nursing student. Fortunately, simulated scenarios take the risk out of practicing in such emergencies. Unfortunately, not all nurse educators are trained to plan and implement these simulations to the same standards. Scenarios that are too advanced or not properly planned can go wrong for students by creating panic, triggering post-traumatic stress disorder, and even causing them to change their majors. Simulation is a powerful tool in healthcare education, but without education standards, too many students won’t get the most out of these experiences. If the educators who run the simulation labs aren’t trained to uphold a certain standard, lab experience may harm students by giving them a subpar education or a negative experience with the field.
Today’s companies are all about the flow of information from colleague to colleague and team to team. So when work at your organization gets stuck, lost, or forgotten, where does it usually come to a grinding halt? In email? On team collaboration boards? During meetings? If you find that work often stops until the next meeting or until a key team member gets back into town, there are faster, more efficient ways to keep work moving. One of those ways is to get on a video conference call right now.
Many simulationists share a common issue when it comes to day-to-day operations in a simulation. The reality is, many simulation programs are understaffed, and most faculty already have more hats than they can comfortably wear. This has many programs looking closer at the evolving simulation operation specialist role. But where does one find someone with the skills needed without sacrificing an educator position? The shortage of nursing educators is a well-known concern; but too often the operations specialist role(s) merely become a strategy to fund another nursing educator.
Is video conferencing at your organization up in the air and all over the place? Maybe some employees love to hop on impromptu video calls with just about anyone from anywhere—even when they’re just down the hall. On the other hand, some resist turning on the camera or using video conferencing at all. You may see different departments favoring different solutions. If there is no consistent user experience and video conferencing has become a big hassle for your IT department, you’ll want to make some changes. You know you want to provide an easy, standardized experience in your meeting rooms, small or large. But what do you do when executives don’t make video conferencing a priority, don’t understand the benefits, and don’t want to set aside budget to solve your organizations collaboration issues? Start by gathering user and stakeholder feedback, researching and narrowing down your options, and then presenting the information to those who will make the final decision. State your case by beginning with the “why” behind the push for video conferencing.