Design: Start Simple, then Progress

Tue, 2013-03-26 20:14 -- admin

If you are beginning a simulation program, many of your participants, instructors, and support staff will be unfamiliar with simulation. Always abide by the KISS (keep it simple simple!) principle.

If you are beginning a simulation program, many (if not all) of your participants, instructors and support staff will be unfamiliar with simulation. Those familiar with simulation will still be unfamiliar with your program. It's also well-recognized that experts demonstrate higher expectations of what is considered “normal” levels of competency. For all of these reasons, simulator instructors and case designers should abide by the KISS (keep it simple simple) principle. Start with cases with one or two key events, and controllable outcomes. Do NOT use a complex case with three to four key clinical events, unless your simulation is unusually long (over 45 minutes).

Once your program is off and running, creating more complex cases to match the clinical and simulator expertise of your target population is not only recommended, it is essential for your program’s growth. However, when starting a program, it is far more desirable to begin with simple cases, creating both positive initial experiences, and matching the curriculum to the expertise of participants not only in terms of clinical expertise, but simulator experience.

(Source: Issenberg SB, McGaghie WC, Petrusa ER, Lee Gordon D, Scalese RJ. Features and uses of high-fidelity medical simulations that lead to effective learning: a BEME systematic review. Medical teacher. 2005 Jan;27(1):10–28).