May 22, 2023By Wesley Lockhart

UPMC’s WISER Academy Offers Unique Clinical Simulation Professional Development Opportunities

Developing clinical simulation professionals within the emerging field of healthcare simulation can be a challenging task for any institution. Based out of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), The Winter Institute for Simulation, Education, and Research (WISER) provides unique opportunities to overcome these challenges in effective ways through their WISER Academy courses. Directed by Paul Phrampus, MD, CPE, FSSH, the WISER Institute features instructional technologies and methods to develop innovative healthcare education programs that are ultimately targeted toward improving the welfare and safety of the general public. WISER’s educational research missions include the application of standards of excellence and professionalism to study the efficacy of educational programs and the impact on learning and the provision of excellence in clinical care. This article will highlight how WISER Academy meets this need by offering a range of professional development opportunities for professionals at every level of a medical simulation career.

TechSim Course for Simulation Operations Specialists

Healthcare Simulation-based healthcare education is constantly evolving, and medical simulation operations specialists (SOS) are essential in ensuring that clinical simulation centers can operate effectively. SOS professionals provide technical support for simulated activities and maintain simulation equipment. As the demand for simulation education expands, the need for well-trained SOS professionals also increases.

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View the LEARN CE/CME Platform Webinar by the WISER team on Professional Development for Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialists!

As such, one of the professional development opportunities offered by the WISER Academy is the TechSim Course. This course is available in-person and online and covers various topics, including training in simulation terminology, center technology, repair and maintenance, running sim sessions, and much more. Both formats have received SSH-approved Continuing Professional Development Credits that can be used for CHSOS and CHSE certifications or re-certification. The TechSim Course can benefit SOS professionals at every level, whether new to the simulation career or experienced sim leaders looking for continuing education opportunities.

WISER Director of Operations Tom Dongilli will host a webinar on the LEARN CE/CME platform on “Professional Development for Simulation Operations Specialists”. This online event will look at core responsibilities and career skills for all simulation operations specialists, regardless of how individual institutions and roles vary.

WISER Academy offers additional courses and resources continued below…

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Simulation Center Management Courses for Administrators

The WISER Academy also offers a new course, the “Essentials of Simulation Center Management”, which will be launched this summer. This course guides participants through all facets of designing, running, and maintaining a simulation center. Participants who are new to simulation entirely, those with new sim centers, and those looking to support growing centers better can benefit from this course. To stay current on the course and start dates, participants can sign up for WISER’s newsletter on their latest news page.

Clinical Faculty & Fellowship Education Opportunities

The WISER Academy also offers the “Improving Simulation Instructional Methods (iSIM) program”. This two-day program provides participants with practical instructional skills that will enable them to become more proficient at using simulation in healthcare education. iSIM is a collaborative effort of the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education (GCRME) at the University of Miami and WISER. Participants will learn various techniques and technologies to maximize sim instruction skills through hands-on activities. All iSIM courses WISER offers are approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Additionally, each year WISER hosts one-and two-year Fellowship programs, as well as shorter-term preceptorship opportunities for healthcare and simulation professionals around the world to develop their proficiency in simulation education. During the programs, fellows complete the WISER curriculum that includes WISER Foundation, electives, workshops, and course observations that can be selected and tailored to meet each fellow’s goals and interests within healthcare simulation. Fellows also partner with a WISER mentor to conceptualize, develop, and complete a customized project.

The WISER Academy offers various professional development opportunities for simulation specialists at every level of career experience. With courses such as the TechSim Course, the Essentials of Simulation Center Management, and iSIM, SOS professionals can gain the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the role. Additionally, SIMS 3.0 provides a robust learning and information management system that can be customized to meet the needs of any simulation center. Visit the WISER Academy website to learn more about these clinical simulation professional development opportunities.

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More About WISER

Established in 1994, the Winter Institute for Simulation, Education and Research (WISER) is a world-class multidisciplinary training, development, and research facility. WISER is a critical part of the infrastructure of the University of Pittsburgh and the UPMC Health System. WISER’s mission is to create education and training programs, along with patient safety solutions, including those utilizing clinical simulation-based modalities to provide a safer environment for patients of the UPMC Health System and affiliates.

WISER is dedicated to advancing healthcare simulation and education to improve patient safety, education, mentorship, systems design, and research to enhance the high-quality delivery of healthcare. This mission fulfills itself in academic curricula, hospital-based training initiatives, research, advanced instructional technology, and the development of innovative healthcare simulation programs. WISER is a world leader in healthcare simulation. WISER has trained and informed thousands of future and practicing healthcare professionals in various clinical simulation settings.

Since receiving accreditation from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) for a fellowship program, WISER is now one of only a few centers in the world accredited by SSH in all five specialty areas. WISER’s main campus is a 20,000 sq. foot facility – additionally, WISER operates eight Satellite Centers at UPMC hospitals across Western Pennsylvania. WISER is directed by Dr. Paul Phrampus, MD, a professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Learn More About the WISER Academy!

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