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he School of Medicine's commitment to
excellence in medical education and training
is a core value driving its leadership of the
delivery and continuous improvement of
RCSI's core medical degrees. Professor
Arnold Hill, Head of the School of Medicine outlines
how this commitment has been exemplified by
the School's investment in, and deployment of, an
innovative simulation technology that enables medical
students to learn safe surgical practice and acquire
optimum operative skills.
The acquisition of two SimMan 3G adult patient simulators
has been at the core of the School of Medicine's simulation
technology strategy. These simulators provide trainers and
trainees with state-of-the-art technology for the teaching
of multiple clinical scenarios. SimMan 3G has a range of
features that optimise simulation training scenarios including
automatic drug recognition, light sensitive pupils, bodily
fluid excretion and wi-fi portability.
According to Professor Arnold Hill, Head of the School
of Medicine, the SimMan 3G technology initiative has
energised trainers and trainees: "Working with leading edge
technology has been an immersive process for all concerned.
The ability to utilise many different scenarios creates a
constantly evolving training environment that demands the
best of both trainers and trainees. The simulation technology
facilitates the development of core technical and non-
technical skills, allowing novice learning and skill mastery to
occur in a monitored and high-feedback environment."
Trainees can modify scenarios constantly throughout the
simulation exercise ensuring that clarity of decision-making
and deployment of efficient technical skills are tested under
a range of demanding conditions.
Professor Hill continues: "Our experienced trainers
structure scenarios that adapt to the trainees' skills levels,
challenging and improving existing capabilities. The
technology enriches the trainer/trainee dynamic and adds
to the intensity and effectiveness of the training process.
"With impressive interactivity, SimMan 3G's utility as a
teaching tool is underlined in the way it allows trainer
and trainee to isolate particular procedures for further
practice. In facilitating focused, repeated work on specific
techniques, it can be useful in building trainee confidence,
while a trainer can also create detailed scenarios that
check over-confidence or expose weaknesses."
He notes: "Training with simulation technology is not a
substitute for actual clinical exposure for the trainee but is
the optimum preparation for it and a vital element in the
ultimate delivery of better, safer healthcare. Simulation
technology is evolving and, at the School of Medicine, we
will be at the forefront in deploying it in the interests of
better training and better patient care.
"In the longer term, simulation will be integrated
across the curriculum where it can be used to progress
learning at different levels of clinical expertise from
the very beginning of surgical training right up to
graduation. In conjunction with the early patient contact
programme, it will be an important tool in achieving
defined competencies prior to clinical experience. And,
it will mean that clinical training can be focused on the
refinement and fine-tuning of skills at an optimum level."
The successful introduction of the SimMan 3G technology
is to be followed by the provision of further such
simulators in the new National Surgical Training Centre in
RCSI's New Academic Education Building.
Hi-tech simulation delivers real training benefits
Professor Arnold Hill
Simulation technology facilitates
the development of core technical
and non-technical skills.