Preparing for a Simulation
Written on January 29, 2015 by Nathan Lorentz
At the end of a simulation, we want the learners to have had a positive experience, even if they did everything wrong. Their confidence should be raised, and they’ll be more prepared for the next time they take part in a simulation.
For facilitators, they should walk away feeling that the simulation met or exceeded their expectations, and that the learners did very well.
And, at the end of a good simulation, the simulation specialists that were working behind the scenes setting up and operating the manikins or other technology in the room, want to walk away smiling… thank goodness there were no glitches!
What Just Happened?!
Alternatively, what we don’t want happening is everyone walking away wondering what just happened. There are many risk factors involved with running a simulation.
Some of them can be caused by human error. For example, the equipment may not have been checked to see if it’s charged, the room may have been set up incorrectly, or the facilitator may not be familiar with the scenario.
Human factors are easier to plan for and avoid than technical risk factors. Any kind of equipment can malfunction, including manikins and cameras. These are much more difficult to anticipate, which is why simulation specialists need to be prepared for anything.
When preparing for a simulation, don’t forget the obvious equipment. Know what you need to have before you actually need it.
Reviewing the curriculum at least a month in advance is crucial. It should highlight all of the supplies necessary, and also give you a chance to ask and clarify details and discrepancies long before the actual simulation.
At Jump, everyone is held to the same extensive curriculum process. This creates the consistency necessary for the ultimate learning experience. We have standardized templates to obtain all of the necessary information.
Before a simulation is even scheduled, it has to initially be reviewed by our curriculum director. If it passes the initial review, it is forwarded to the curriculum committee and simulation technicians, who both review it. Only after full approval can the simulation be scheduled.
To ensure that our facilitators and instructors are properly prepared for simulations, they must go through a training course. The course has a strong focus on learning objectives and explaining how to properly debrief learners’ post-sim.
Remember: the earlier you setup for a simulation, the better off you are. The more time you have to go through system checks, the more time you have to ensure that everything is working and setup properly.
Nathan Lorentz is a senior at Bradley University. He is studying Marketing (Social Media) and Web Design. Nathan combines the experience of both concentrations to offer a non-traditional competitive advantage in the online environment where content marketing and social media have a growing impact.
As the Website and Social Media Coordinator, Nathan helps develop an online presence for Jump through development and maintenance of the website and marketing efforts.