Simulation Training in Belfast Trust


The Trust has recently invested in state of the art SimMan 3G technology. This is a high fidelity mannequin that simulates a living breathing patient. The mannequin can be controlled to talk, has audible breath, heart and bowel sounds, his pupils will react to light and he can even vomit, cry and suffer seizures. This technology is being used to deliver simulation training in the Trust.

Simulation training has many well recognised advantages. It allows participants to ‘learn by doing’ in a training environment that does not expose patients or staff to risk. There is also evidence that team training using simulation technology improves safety, effectiveness and efficiency. Authentic hands-on training leads to increased staff competency in key skills, thus decreasing the risk of complications and improving patient safety.

Simulation training also has a particular focus on improving patient safety through an understanding of what are described as Non-Technical Skills. It is often through the breakdown of these key skills, which include communication and team-working, that healthcare errors are made. Simulated scenarios examine staffs competency and competence in these areas and structured debriefing highlights methods to improve these vital skills.

This technology is now playing a vital role in the training of staff in the Belfast Trust. Staff from several specialties have developed a variety of interactive simulation courses that focus on key skills such as chest drain insertion and safe sedation. The SimMan has also been used to deliver a course focusing on the management of medical emergencies to a group of junior doctors.

This new technology is also being used to provide regular staff training sessions for both medical and nursing staff, such as seen below with the Royal Emergency Department training Emergency Medicine Registrars in the management of the sick respiratory patient in preparation for the winter flu season.

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