By Adriana Barbat
The Center for Medical Simulation at Harvard University is coming to UF.
In August, the Center will offer a 4-day Advanced Instructor Course, which will give faculty from the College of Medicine and the College of Nursing the opportunity to refine their debriefing and feedback skills and provide a path toward further development of faculty and simulation programs.
This is thanks to a Faculty Enhancement Opportunity awarded to Chris Giordano, MD, in December. The award will bring Center for Medical Simulation instructors and materials to Gainesville so that faculty can participate on-site. The award of over $75,000 builds upon a previous Faculty Enhancement Opportunity granted to Nikolaus Gravenstein, MD, in 2015 that brought instructors from the Center to present the “Simulation as a Teaching Tool: Instructor Training” workshop, in which an interdisciplinary team learned how to build a challenging and safe learning environment using simulation and debriefing. Expanding on this foundation, the advanced course will refine the feedback techniques gained through the first course as well as provide participants with new tools to better assist instructors in using simulation effectively. After course completion, the team will be better prepared not only to create new simulations, but also to train others in the teaching of simulation.
The group of 20 simulation faculty comprises representatives from several fields, including anesthesiology, pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and nursing. During the 4-day course, participants will refresh and enhance simulation debriefing skills, practice techniques for structuring feedback and assessment, and learn frameworks for guiding faculty development in simulation. Simulation is used in leading universities because it gives clinicians an opportunity to “practice like you play,” Dr. Giordano said; it offers opportunities to experience and learn from rare but potentially catastrophic clinical scenarios in a safe environment, improving the overall safety and efficacy of patient care.
The University of Florida’s Center for Safety, Simulation & Advanced Learning Technologies has been using simulation technology for years, building on over 30 years of continuous and sustained research and development effort in simulation within the Department of Anesthesiology. “UF has pioneered the simulation world, and our task is to keep us in that conversation,” Dr. Giordano. “We have this amazing simulation center. It is our responsibility to maximize our opportunity.”
With the information gained through the course, Dr. Giordano plans to work with other simulation faculty to build an interdisciplinary simulation experience that allows for the exchange of ideas and feedback from diverse perspectives.
Although the award will contribute to individual participants’ professional development, the larger goal is to implement institutional change. Dr. Giordano anticipates that building this network of simulation educators will result in new ideas, greater collaboration, and the development of a robust simulation program within the College of Medicine.
Dr. Giordano encouraged his fellow faculty to apply for Faculty Enhancement Opportunity awards, which are often underutilized.
“I was waiting for the right thing, but there is no right thing,” he said.
Faculty Enhancement Opportunity funding is awarded for creative and flexible faculty development activities and is available to full-time faculty. Awards are intended to contribute to the professional career goals of individual faculty members and to the goals of the University overall. Individuals can receive a Faculty Enhancement Opportunity award once every 6 years.