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HEALTH MANAGEMENT AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF SIMULATION EDUCATION

I. Edwards

Griffith University (AUSTRALIA)
Background:
The application of simulation in healthcare is not new. Training healthcare providers to be ready to answer any situation they could find themselves in is crucial in their development as healthcare professionals. With recent advancement in the use of technology, simulation training can provide a safe learning environment for students as well as for ongoing training for current healthcare professionals.
The use of simulations represents the natural way of "learn by doing". Just as children do simulation activities by role-playing, adults use computer simulations to understand complex systems, real situation or dynamic processes. Computer simulations allow for the analysis of situations or processes that would be difficult or too expensive to perform in real life.

The underlying education theory of simulated education is founded on experiential learning. Simulations have the capacity to provide concrete experiences, with learners being able to recognise knowledge gaps. This needs to be provided in a safe, private environment encouraging reflection and deeper learning. Healthcare simulation can be a powerful educational tool facilitating learning for clinicians and change in practice to improve patient outcomes and safety.

Health Service Managers require a broad skill set around managing complexity, problem-solving and collaboration. Simulation and experiential learning is one approach that can be used to develop these skills.

Purpose:
The application of simulation in education is recognised as a powerful tool when applied correctly. The purpose of this literature research is to identify the necessary underlying construction techniques for the successful application of simulation in health management education.

Method:
A systematic approach to searching for appropriate literature and material was undertaken. The systematic review included research papers from predominately peer-reviewed journals selected through search criteria. The abstracts and/or full texts for the identified articles were reviewed to select studies that met the inclusion criteria. Additionally, relevant studies were also sought from the reference lists of the studies that met the selection criteria.

Results:
In the literature that was reviewed, there was clear evidence as to the value of using simulation to teach students real-world and work-ready skills. The topic of simulation is vast with different vehicles used to integrate real-world experience including games, virtual communities, case studies, questing and role-playing.

However, the research identified several underlying concepts that need to be considered for the successful construction and deployment of simulation in health management education.

Conclusion:
The successful use of simulation in health management education requires careful construction of the simulation model. Several underlying concepts need to be considered in its development. Application of the concepts will ensure a more successful outcome of the use of simulation in health management education.