March 17, 2021By Lindsey Nolen

Simterviews: Dr. KT Waxman | Associate Professor at the Associate Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions

Dr. KT Waxman, DNP, MBA, RN, CNL, CENP, CHSE, FSSH, FAONL, FAAN, is a national nurse leader and executive with extensive experience in healthcare simulation and corporate settings. She is an associate professor and the director of the Executive Leadership Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at the University of San Fransisco School of Nursing and Health Professions. She is also the director of the California Simulation Alliance (CSA) at HealthImpact and is the editor-in-chief for Nursing Administration Quarterly (NAQ).

Upcoming KT Waxman Webinar:
Building and Sustaining a Statewide Clinical Simulation Alliance

April 22nd, 10AM PST, UTC-7 – OPEN ACCESS!

An internationally recognized speaker and author, Waxman is past president of the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) and past board member, serving as treasurer, for the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL). She is currently the immediate past president of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) for the year 2020.

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In this Simterview, Waxman shares the importance of documenting healthcare simulation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Waxman shares how the California Simulation Alliance responded to the pandemic and how remote simulation has made the continuation of instruction possible during this time. She further explains that accreditation can greatly assist healthcare simulation programs and sim centers to ensure optimal training and education outcomes. What needs to happen for simulation to move to the next level of utilization?

Dr. KT Waxman: For clinical simulation to move to the next level of utilization, we must document the outcomes that we’ve had through the pandemic with the different types of simulation. If we can show those outcomes and data to our boards of nursing, we can work to support simulation nationally on a higher level. Then, they’re not just looking at healthcare simulation as strictly manikin-based, they will be looking at all types of healthcare simulation. I think that the pandemic has provided an opportunity for us to use more clinical simulation, and as long as we have documented our outcomes and can build a case with our boards of nursing, I think it’ll move to the next level. What is your greatest advice for those already engaged in simulation, who want to continue to maximize their outcomes and ROI moving forward?

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Dr. KT Waxman: I would recommend that everyone keep track of everything that they’re doing and that they should move towards accreditation in each of their centers or programs. Even if they don’t go to accreditation, they should at least follow the standards and be on the accreditation journey. I also believe that as many people as possible should become certified as certified simulation educators or certified healthcare simulation operations specialists through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. I think for hospitals, in particular, they need to identify areas of risk or concern. Then they need to start training with healthcare simulation and track data three, six, and nine months later to show their return on investment. Examples would be things like sepsis rates, medical errors or transfers to the ICU. If with clinical simulation training we can decrease some of these indicators, we can avoid costs and have a strong return on investment. What is something that excites you about the current healthcare simulation industry?

Dr. KT Waxman: The virtual IMSH is going on and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare has been able to launch this virtual platform and the wonderful meeting is really exciting. Not being able to meet together saddens me, but the fact that we have the skills and resources to run an amazing virtual IMSH is exciting. The other thing is the use of virtual reality in simulation. I’ve seen an increase in the use of VR simulation, and I think this is the wave of the future. I believe all learners should participate in VR, and that has really become evident over the pandemic — when we’re trying to get them to do as much as possible at home and not come on campus.

Something else that excites me is the upcoming book, “Comprehensive Healthcare and Simulation in Nursing” by Springer, of which I am one of the four co-editors. That should be out at the end of this year. Those are the things that are looming in the industry that are exciting to me. I also think the fact that technology is changing so rapidly and the use of VR, AI, augmented reality is really exciting as we move forward into the new wave. I really believe that when we go back after the pandemic, we’re not going to be doing things that we’ve done in the past. We’re going to have to get rid of some of those things and transition into this new, innovative way of doing healthcare simulation. How has your institution responded to COVID-19? What lessons were learned?

Dr. KT Waxman: As the director of the California Simulation Alliance, also known as the CSA, we pivoted very quickly last April to put all of our in-person courses online through Zoom. Our faculty had to learn Zoom, which was another challenge, but we learned the platform quickly. We offered several online courses for free as a service to all faculty nationwide who had not been trained in healthcare simulation or simulation debriefing specifically. We taught that all on Zoom, and now we offer all of our courses online or high flex. We also learned that we can be as effective from a pedagogical perspective, whether we are online or on ground. I anticipate going forward that we’ll do a hybrid, but right now we know we’re effective online. So why go back to face-to-face? I know people are eager for this return and want to come together, so we’ll probably do something of a hybrid in the future. What recommendations do you have for others in terms of overcoming COVID-19 challenges?

Dr. KT Waxman: I would say to do what you need to do with what you have to meet the objectives of the course or the module. Be innovative, take risks and document whatever you’re doing. Then, write up your findings and submit them to a journal for pre-publication so we can all learn from each other.

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