I always say that the trainer does the training. For better or worse. Technique enhances a good experience, and best of all, helps participants reflect on what they are doing and thus learn and gain confidence in their actions. In this way, good and reliable technique is the cornerstone of simulation training. However, even good technique does not save a bad facilitator, because training is always a whole.
With an excellent trainer, a great technique is such an unfailing combo that one side effect may be that the participants will want to come back again soon.

Training team at Covid19 simulations. Photo: Emmi Sainio

I have been designing, creating and delivering training for a long time, and have been exposed to the most amazing technology, from simulators to debriefing systems.
I’ve also found that technology can scare and excite participants, which brings us back to the definition of a good trainer, which is explaining how the technology works and swearing that the clips shown in the debriefing are not to be found in the YouTube bloopers section of the training workshop.

Trauma HAL at the War & Medicine Conference in Tarto. Photo: Nordic Simulators

Simulation training is about authenticity. The facilities and simulators should be as close to the real thing as possible. Simulators can be very realistic, but it requires the right manufacturer’s equipment and imagination on the part of the trainer.

I will give the example of the Covid19 training courses we ran two years ago with a team in my hospital district. These training sessions were of course made even more challenging by the unfamiliar situation, and it was very important to get as much as possible across to the participants in a short timeframe and in as realistic a way as possible.

First day of training for Covid19. Photo: Emmi Sainio

One of the training points, and the one I was involved in, was the prone training. It was clear from the start that the most realistic mannequin in terms of weight, size and appearance would be needed for this exercise. We ended up using the Gaumard HAL. In addition to this, the realism was achieved through the use of power equipment, i.e. the patient was intubated, connected to a ventilator, there was a central venous catheter and a drip tube, the simulator’s functions made all these possible.

If you are interested in the video of the abdominal cavity you can have a look here https://fb.watch/9WD9vUz7Fy/ you may also notice a familiar manikin!

Then we come to what I think is the most important technical aspect of the training, recording the training and using it for post-training. Once I learned how to use recording systems, I never held a training session without them. Not only do the trainers receive extremely important information about development challenges and, above all, successes, but the trainer is able to reflect on his/her own activities and see the big picture.

Recording systems also actually make the trainer’s job easier, even if you might think that in a studio in front of a computer you would not be able to concentrate on the simulation itself. Today’s technology has been designed to make it easy to ”do it all at the click of a button”.

And when you don’t want to watch the whole 20-minute simulation as a short film in post-production, the best of the recording system comes into its own. The most important clips for learning, the joys and successes, the reactions and the development challenges, should always be shown.

Nordic Move portable recording system. Photo: Nordic Simulators

I remember one time with a group after the first CPR exercise, we were watching the recording. I stopped the recording and asked if there was anything you would do differently. The participants watched for a while until one of them exclaimed, ”I touch the patient during the shock!” In the next simulation, they learned from their mistakes and the ”dangerous situation” no longer occurred.

So, I would venture to say, especially in healthcare training, the use of recording systems improves patient safety.

Nordic Simulators Export Manager Ville Mäkelä was interviewed at the OEB conference and summed it up well as follows:

”You learn by seeing what you are doing”.

Emmi Sainio
Nurse, simulation trainer and entrepreneur.

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