SimWars Medical Simulation Competition Expands Across Ireland
Shawn S. Albers, BSc, MSc and colleagues recently wrote an article covering how SimWars is gaining massive popularity with clinical teams in Ireland on the JEMS website. The article explicates greater detail about a recent competition and how the innovative competition has taken the country by storm since 2017 — already a big hit across the country! SimWars, originally developed by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM), is a clinical performance competition which specifically utilizes healthcare simulation technologies and processes to provide teams standardized opportunities to showcase their clinical abilities. SimWars is the perfect tool for engaging learners and professionals in fun, educational, and competitive “serious gaming” for unique and powerful outcome results — so let’s learn more!
JEMS Excerpt of Expanded Use of SimWARS in Ireland (Albers et al)
Twenty-two healthcare professionals are in position and at their stations and await the arrival of the competitors. This senior team includes doctors, advanced nurse practitioners, nurses, paramedics, over 20 volunteers and staff from four gracious sponsors. The first group of five students competing in SimWars await their instructions. Suddenly, a trainer appears and says: “Code Blue. Arrest team upstairs to Room One.” The five students with various experience ranging from first year students to seniors, dressed in color-coded scrubs, race up the stairs to begin their first of three test scenarios.
The winners of the 2019 Ireland SimWars National championships were, for the second year in a row, from the University College Cork, in Cork, Ireland. The winning UCC team was made up of first-and-second-year medical students. Their final scenario occurred in front of a full live audience and team of 20 judges with them competing against two other teams.
SimWars Ireland was initiated in 2017, by two medical students from University College Dublin (UCD), Jamie Condren and Tiarnan Byrne. The goal was to help facilitate medical students’ exposure to stressful and difficult situations and promote professionalism and teamwork with colleagues prior to graduation.
It has grown since 2017 to become a national, intervarsity simulation competition in acute emergency medical and surgical scenarios. Medical students from all years of training assume the role of a first-response team as they stabilize and manage the simulated patients.
The winners of the 2019 Ireland SimWars National championships were, for the second year in a row, from the University College Cork (UCC), Cork, Ireland. The winning team was made up of first and second-year medical students. Their final scenario occurred in front of a full live audience and team of 20 judges with them competing against two other teams.
SimWars continues to be organized exclusively by students each year who volunteer for many sleepless nights, grey hair and caffeine overdoses. However, the secondary benefit is the experience gained in managing a tricky matrix of people (trainers and students) to be in the same place at the expected times, multiple time per week, over a period of six months. An added benefit is the training occurs in all six medical schools in the Republic of Ireland.
More About SimWars
SimWars is a medical simulation competition between teams of clinical providers that compete in various aspects of patient care in front of a large audience. This type of learning emphasizes experiential learning, which involves the learner mentally, physically, and emotionally in the moment, whether it is a simulated experience, reliving the past, or through collaboration (community of practice). Additionally, SIMWars offers learning opportunities for those watching and instructing, as every person involved can benefit from observing and reflecting on decision making, as well as viewing and discussing practice variations across disciplines and institutions. SimWars combines a group-learning format with individual skill assessment to enhance global knowledge and skill performance.
SimWars was originally developed by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) and is run by the SAEM Simulation Academy, a leading organization for high-quality research and educational innovation in emergency care, creates and promotes scientific discovery, advancement of education, and the highest professional and ethical standards for clinicians, educators, and researchers.
Lance Baily, BA, EMT-B, is the Founder & CEO of HealthySimulation.com, which he started while serving as the Director of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas back in 2010. Lance is also the Founder and acting Advisor to the Board of SimGHOSTS.org, the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated to supporting professionals operating healthcare simulation technologies. His new co-edited Book: “Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Operations, Technology, and Innovative Practice” is available now. Lance’s background also includes serving as a Simulation Technology Specialist for the LA Community College District, EMS fire fighting, Hollywood movie production, rescue diving, and global travel. He lives with his wife Abigail in Las Vegas, Nevada.