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The growing trend of simulation as a form of clinical education: a global perspective

05 December 2011
Volume 1 · Issue 2


Simulation as a credible mode of advanced clinical education is becoming well established throughout Europe, North America, and Oceania; however, similar developments are becoming increasingly visible outside of these continents. Educational concepts using simulation are better understood when people see beyond the ‘tool’, however technologically advanced it might be (Alinier, 2007a) and start to recognize the importance of the ‘technique’ employed to use it (Gaba, 2004). Reported activities emerging from Africa and predominately Asia is continuing to grow. From psychiatry objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) training in Iran (Taghva et al, 2010); the use of virtual patient simulators in Japan (Taguchi and Ogawa, 2010); to using simulators to teach advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) to paramedics in India (Delasobera et al, 2010), simulation as a form of clinical education is advancing globally. This article aims to highlight the recent advancement of simulation through examples of workshops and research occurring outside of Europe, North America, and Oceania, and begins to highlight some of the current simulation education centre projects that are being planned across the globe. Categories of simulation within this article refer to simulation education using standardized patients, patient simulators, mannequins, part-task trainers, computer-based simulation, and virtual reality simulators, primarily used for surgical skills training. This article aims to give readers a glimpse into some of the projects and research that is occurring within simulation education outside of the western world.

With technological advances and a greater understanding of the educational benefits of health professionals being immersed in real life experiences for educational purposes, simulation has grown into a popular modality of clinical training (Issenberg, 2006). Simulation has many roles to play in healthcare education—not only can it teach specific skills, but it is also becoming imperative in patient safety training, interdisciplinary training, communication, team training, and crisis resource management (Smith and Cole, 2009). These points have also been emphasized in one of the latest annual reports from the Chief Medical Officer for England (Donaldson, 2009) where the use of simulation at all levels is strongly recommended. As described by one of the recognized pioneers:

‘When integrated appropriately into learning and competence testing, simulation plays an important role in acquiring the critical and reflective thinking skills needed to provide competent, safe patient care.’ (Gaba, 2004)

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