April 15, 2024By Erin Carn Bennett

How to Introduce a Completely New Clinical Simulation Modality

New forms of clinical simulation products are constantly released. As clinical simulation educators, the concept of a new or novel clinical simulation modality introduction is quite a common occurrence. This is a skill set that is required to ensure that new clinical simulation modalities are released in a safe and successful manner. With an experienced support network and careful plans made, a new clinical simulation modality release can be a successful experience for both clinical simulation educators involved and also clinical simulation participants in attendance. This article by Erin Carn-Bennett, MSN, RN, will explore the introduction of a completely new clinical simulation modality and ways to support clinical simulation educators and team members throughout this process.

Take Time To Consider and Consult Beforehand

Prior to the consideration that there is even a need for a particular style of new clinical simulation; consider where the need and desire has arrived. Is the desire to introduce a new clinical simulation modality to address a gap in the knowledge of clinical teams? Or is there a personal or clinical simulation program interest in the introduction of the new clinical simulation modality? Idealistically, both of these needs will drive a more likely successful introduction of a new clinical simulation modality.

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The gap in knowledge or acknowledgment of an educational need may come from several sources. For example, did a departmental survey, observations of practice in clinical or clinical simulation scenarios, word of mouth from staff members of management, or also a theme within safety incident reports drive this change? Careful consideration should be given to these needs and whether clinical simulation is the right educational methodology to fill this gap. The next consideration should be if the timing is right and the new clinical simulation methodology will suit the department and clinical staff that will attend as participants. Use a comprehensive evaluation tool for clinical simulation.

Approach any relevant management team of departments and/or teams that will potentially be involved in attendance to the new clinical simulation modality. Explanation should be given around the concept of the new clinical simulation modality and the rationale for why this is considered for the relevant departments. Collaboration with senior staff within the clinical environment to deliver the clinical simulation if approval is given can assist with buy-in from staff and attendance.

Take time to consider where the concept of the new clinical simulation modality has originated from. Has this new clinical simulation modality come from an idea from a similar program that has been successful and shared at conferences, for example? Or has this clinical simulation modality been created from beginning to end? Consider the expertise of the clinical simulation educator teams involved and whether there is the appropriate experience to ensure clinical simulation participant safety. If this concept stems from another established program, consider any right of use of intellectual property cost if relevant. Also, consider any staff education costs that may arise so they can deliver this style of clinical simulation.

Think broadly about any risks associated with the introduction of a new clinical simulation modality and strategies to mitigate this risk. Consideration of faculty experience levels should be given extra attention, as well as pairing of well-suited facilitators. Clear leadership and course directorship can also assist in the release and review process of a new clinical simulation modality.

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Take Time to Plan For the Rollout and Practice Time

Don’t rush the process to plan for the release of a new clinical simulation modality. For example, The process to build a didactic presentation element of a clinical simulation course can take significant time, energy, and editing if required. Allow time to ponder and get this process just right. This is also relevant in regard to the process to build a timetable or schedule that will fit around the new clinical simulation course well.

Make sure to account for an appropriate practice time. A practice run-through of a new clinical simulation modality and course prior to delivery to clinical simulation participants is vital. A practice run-through will allow for the practice of any didactic presentation, activities, and the new clinical simulation style. Check that this matches up to the timetable that has been proposed and make changes as necessary. The process to test healthcare simulation scenarios prior to delivery is incredibly important, even more so when this relates to a new clinical simulation modality.

Ensure that clinical simulation educators are up-to-date with orientation to the new clinical simulation modality and feel comfortable delivering the new clinical simulation style. Some healthcare simulation educators may wish to observe a course delivery before delivering the clinical simulation. Clear leadership and directorship of the course will also assist in this process.

Have a plan for the pilot of the clinical simulation course and be honest by letting the participants know they are the first to experience the clinical simulation modality in the organization. Expand on this honesty and place a lot of value on feedback requested by the clinical simulation participants. Explain to the clinical simulation participants how valued their feedback is, that this helps to alter future courses, and that the feedback is anonymous. Place a lot of consideration into what the post-course survey asks and ensure that there are free text question options so that participants can freely share their personal experiences and suggestions.

This article has discussed the process that surrounds the introduction of a new clinical simulation modality. The introduction of a new clinical simulation modality can be a lot more complex than appears on the surface. Ensure that adequate support from management is given and that there is enough skill and experience within the clinical simulation program to introduce the new clinical simulation modality. The process from concept to introduction should be well considered and not rushed. The process to introduce a new clinical simulation modality is a skill in itself; however, the joy to be experienced from the success that can come in the process makes the experience more than worthwhile for all if done safely and methodically.

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