4. Simulation technology for learning in anaesthesia
Provision of simulation resources has increased across the UK. Simulation is used to augment clinical experience and allow the safe acquisition of skills. It should be used not only for assessment purposes, but also for practice or rehearsal of scenarios prior to actual patient care. Areas of the curriculum where clinical exposure may be lacking e.g. anaphylaxis or malignant hyperpyrexia, may be addressed using simulation.
4.2 Application in Training
Simulation can be delivered by many different methods. Effective simulation can:
- Train and ingrain new skills: learning routines and steps that together comprise a complex skill.
- Reinforce drills: teach and test the learner’s response to specific critical incidents
- Develop professional behaviour and the non-technical skills necessary for expert anaesthetic practice
We encourage those departments with access to simulation resources to integrate and further develop simulation programmes in their training. Numerous courses are available to provide simulation facilitation training and the RCoA encourages the development of these skills by trainers.
Schools of Anaesthesia are encouraged to establish links with simulation centres to ascertain the best approach for local integration and application of simulation-based education within CCT training programmes.
4.4 Application in Assessment
Simulation is used as a validated assessment tool in the OSCE section of the Primary FRCA Examination for assessing a candidate’s response to specific critical incidents and to assess key communication skills. Similarly in the workplace simulation should be used to support the initial assessment of competence in techniques such as rapid sequence induction [RSI] and the failed intubation drill, as well as teaching and assessing competence in obstetric anaesthesia and analgesia prior to commencing duties in the Maternity Unit.