What I wanted to attempt was to produce a podcast to help the medical students during their simulation sessions. This was a learning need that I had previously identified. I actually was prompted to produce this content as part of a PGCAP module otherwise there would have been a delay.
Students, even fifth year students, found simulation in the SIM Suite incredibly stressful. Their anxiety at participating and being observed was heightened by the stress of being in an unfamiliar environment and not feeling competent with how the equipment worked.
Prior to the Scenario starting at the start of a session, students were orientated around the Sim Suite by a Clinical Skills Tutor. This would involve moving around the room and demonstrating how the equipment worked and where items were located. This was done to the whole group so manoeuvring around the SIM Suite was difficult and students may not have had a good view. Also the time spent orientating the students ‘ate’ into the session time so these orientations were brief, approximately five minutes. Also specific procedures couldn’t be covered in the brief orientation.
Students are ‘invited’ to view the Xerte Orientation Guide that I compiled and takes approximately 25 minutes. It allows them to orientate themselves in their own time and use the content as revision when needed at a later date. I think this works much better as students can view the information at their own pace and go over the technical parts when they require that information. I feel that they will gain greater understanding as they are not anxious when they are viewing the content and are able to focus on it. Also this is much more detailed than the information that they are given at the start of the session.
My colleagues think that this works well. Face-to-face orientation is still given but more brief than previously as it is assumed that the students have accessed the content.
Benefits of new practice
For the tutors it means that, if accessed, the students are less stressed coming into the sessions as they are at least familiar with the layout, where the equipment is located and how some of the equipment works. The students are not as stressed and seem more relaxed at the start of the session – though not necessarily at the end depending on how it has gone.