Simulation-based education (SBE) as a learning tool is becoming more prevalent, as is the recognition of the importance of non-technical skills. With this insight comes a desire to improve clinical practice using these techniques. ‘AOSim’ has arisen from an intrinsic desire to achieve this from within an Acute Oncology Service (AOS). Wishes to improve confidence, decision-making and teamwork have guided the design and implementation of a novel simulation course in this field.
The purpose of the course has been guided by the candidates. The hope is to be able to provide a safe learning environment to explore decision-making, improve confidence in clinical practice and strengthen teamwork.
The course design was informed by direct stakeholder analysis. Pre-course surveys aided in planning the course and scenario design. The course would run over half a day and comprise three scenarios, each followed by a debrief. The candidates invited were nurses working in the local AOS and the AOS coordinator. Each scenario was designed with a particular focus in mind; ‘Respectful Challenging’, ‘Clinical Prioritisation’ and ‘Treatment Escalation’. The clinical context of the scenarios was based on oncology to provide a familiar environment for the candidates. This would also enable the focus to be paid to the non-technical skills related to the aims of the course. The scenarios were to be run in a high-fidelity setting using a mixture of role players, mannikins and plants. Faculty roles had been assigned prior to the course date.
A course overview was sent to the candidates including the planned date for running the course to allow the candidates to plan for handover of their clinical duties; this allowed protected time for the course to run. ‘AOSim’ was run in a simulation suite in the high-fidelity setting with an experienced faculty. The candidates were introduced to the simulated environment and the importance of psychological safety was explained. The three scenarios ran as planned to include subsequent informative debriefs. Immediate and post-course feedback were positive, particularly with increased confidence levels and team-working ability. This has led to aspirations to run the course again for a different candidate group in the future.