Clinical simulation: measuring the efficacy of training

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Simulation is frequently cited as the ideal method to improve the training of health care professionals. Studies from specialties such as anesthesia and intensive care report that life-sized mannequins reliably measure acute care skills. Task trainers, such as laparoscopic simulators, effectively improve participants' ability to perform minimally invasive surgery. This review will chart the progress made in defining the role of simulation training in medical education.

Recent findings

Trainees who use high-fidelity task trainers (such as the laparoscopic simulators) avoided complications and errors associated with inexperience when compared with peers. Residents' skill in managing acute events can be objectively and reliably measured in a simulation laboratory.

Summary

Task trainers are recommended for training physicians for a number of minimally invasive procedures. Life-sized mannequins can be used to train residents to manage a range of critical events in a simulated setting. These exercises train residents to conduct a sequential, logical examination, perform various tasks, interpret clinical findings and use clinical reasoning to resolve the simulated crisis.

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