E. Sigalet, J. Davies

Sidra Medical and Research Center (QATAR)
Simulation provides an innovative venue for supporting health care professional discharge teaching transferring the philosophical underpinnings of a learner centered approach to the patient discharge teaching context. The purpose of this presentation is to (a) provide theoretical support for developing Health care professional (HCP) curriculum focused on engaging simulation to achieve Family Centered Care (FCC) and (b) make explicit the components of curriculum necessary for helping HCPs optimize simulation in facilitating discharge teaching.
Today there is an expectation that health care professionals (HCPs) use a patient/family centered approach in all health service delivery, inclusive of discharge teaching. Family centered care is built on the premise that families have the inherent strengths, abilities and capacity to improve their competence but must be afforded opportunities to acquire and demonstrate competence.(1)This is congruent with the tenets of learner centered teaching, which supposes that adult learners have the capacity to identify their needs and the motivation to achieve competence when they perceive relevance, but makes explicit the process by which learning is optimized; the opportunities to acquire and demonstrate competence.(2)Simulation provides the opportunity for learners to acquire and demonstrate competence.(3)In addition, simulation provides an objective window into the learner’s ability to apply the knowledge in a realistic patient context, exposing the learner’s true needs.This allows the educator to direct feedback to gaps in learning and support learning further by offering continued practice sessions with feedback until the learner verbalizes confidence and the educator visualizes competence.
Although simulation has gained popularity as a learning modality in health professional education there is a paucity of research examining the benefit in patient/family centered teaching. However, results from a study conducted last year suggest that caregivers who were given opportunities to practice seizure management reported more confidence but most importantly demonstrated more competence in their ability to effectively manage a simulated seizure.(4)These results are exciting and provide an impetus for embedding simulation focused curricula in health professional education; using the same learning modality that is currently used to support HCP competence to support patient/family competence. Focused curriculum on optimizing simulation in the delivery of health services should incorporate the theory of both adult and experiential learning, the development of learning outcomes, scenario design and delivery and feedback. These are the same components faculty address in the provision of simulation to develop competence in HCPs. Furthermore in keeping with the theory of experiential learning participants need to experience the components. They need opportunities to engage the learning in realistic patient teaching contexts.
Many academic institutions and tertiary care centers have invested heavily in simulation for developing competence in HCPs. However the value in using simulation to deliver true FCC has yet to be realized. In light of the results of this recent study, we believe that simulation provides an innovative learning modality for optimizing the use of expensive technology and most importantly for improving HCP’s abilities to deliver “truly patient/family centered discharge teaching.”