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About the Medical Simulation Centre

Simulators have been used for training and practice purposes in the aviation, nuclear fuel and car manufacturing industries for several years.  More recently, this training technique has been introduced to train medical, nursing and allied health professionals. The overall aims of this training are to increase patient safety, practice error management and improve professional clinical and team management skills.

The Barts and The London Medical Simulation Centre uses a realistic dummy, which can replicate a range of medical conditions. Actors can be used to play patient and staff roles in an 'operating theatre', 'anaesthetic room', 'ITU', 'A&E' and 'ward' based settings. The simulation can be video recorded so that the candidates can view and comment on their performance. Following this, a facilitated de-briefing session allows candidates the opportunity to learn through reflection, mutual support and shared skills.

The advantages of using simulation as an integral part of training are:

  • devoid of risk to the patient
  • management of routine procedures and events can be practised and improved
  • management of complex, unusual or rare situations can be practised
  • errors can be allowed to occur without intervention from a supervisor
  • the scenario can be frozen to allow discussion of specific points
  • candidates can receive training from clinical experts
  • immediate feedback is possible
  • the setting is realistic
  • proficiency can be maintained  
  • flexibility and reproducibility
  • teaching which is intensive, participatory and enjoyable.

While originally developed to teach specific clinical skills, the role of the simulator in multi-disciplinary team training is being increasingly recognised. Clear communication techniques, conflict resolution and professional decision-making can be practised and optimised.