New simulation tools may use technology such as virtual or augmented reality to educate learners on how to perform surgical procedures or respond to emergencies like a patient bleeding from a tracheotomy site, program directors say. But low-tech simulations are highly valuable too.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s surgical residents completed a simulation model that trained them to manage challenging patients or break bad news. “How do you manage an emotional storm? And how do you do this with grace, dignity, and empathy? The skills our residents took away with them were great, and we plan to do this module regularly. It’s not done enough in practice. We will give our surgeons the tools they need to navigate these situations,” said Christie Barnes, MD, UNMC’s associate residency program director.
Surgical residents can simulate how to manage complex or stressful circumstances. “All doctors have awkward situations, and they often don’t have any training for them. We want them to feel that they have had their dress rehearsal. They have been through it before. We critique each one to talk about how the situation was handled,” said Roland D. Eavey, MD, who created the innovative leadership training program at Vanderbilt University.
The University of Michigan puts residents through an otolaryngology boot camp and other simulation-based education throughout training, but also teaches residents how to work with others, said Carol Bradford, MD, MS. “I see a growing opportunity for simulation, including learning how to perform procedures, but also simulations of interprofessional, team-based care.”—SB