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Acceptability and Perceived Value of Simulation Based Medical Education in Malaysia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tim Smith, Judy Bien, Dr Sein Yee Min, Dr Antonio Villarivera


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Aims: At our medical school medical simulation training, using a SimMan 3G patient simulator, has been integrated into the final three years of the undergraduate curriculum. Simulation is used most extensively during the last semester of the final year during which each student participates in six simulation sessions each involving four cases focused on managing an acutely ill patient.We believe that simulation training provides an educational experience with aspects that students would find difficult or impossible to replace with other learning methods and, as such, it is an important component of the final year teaching programme. However, simulation training is a resource intensive teaching method, both in terms of equipment costs and staff time and, it has recently been suggested that simulation may be overused in undergraduate medical education.In light of this suggestion and the fact that our increasing student numbers demand increasing investment of resources to maintain the current level of simulation training it seemed appropriate to re-evaluate the benefits of our programme.Method:To assess the acceptability of this training to our students and their perception of the quality and value of the training provided we sought formal feedback from our current cohort of final year students.After the final simulation training session of the course all students were asked to complete a paper questionnaire which contained 17 statements about their feelings towards simulation training. Students were asked to rate their agreement with each statement on a five point Likert scale. Free text comments were also requested. Completion of the questionnaire was voluntary and students could omit any questions which they did not wish to answer. No personally identifiable data was collected on the questionnaire.Results:The questionnaire had a response rate of 100%.All students saw simulation as a valuable activity which helped them achieve course outcomes and prepared them for clinical practice.Most students experienced anxiety during simulation, however, few students feel uncomfortable about being observed during the scenario. The anxiety students feel may be that appropriate to an inexperienced practitioner caring for an acutely ill patient and so indicate student engagement with the simulation scenario.Students overwhelmingly reported enjoying simulation sessions suggesting that the anxiety is not problematic. No relationship between anxiety and perceived learning was evident.Most students did not feel well prepared for simulation training. However, all understood the purpose of simulation training and most were clear about the intended learning outcomes suggesting that they had received adequate briefing.The perceived lack of preparedness may represent a difficulty translating theoretical knowledge into concrete action. Simulation training may be an effective way to bridge this knowledge-practice gap.Conclusion:Simulation training is acceptable to our students and is perceived by them as valuable. We believe that our use of simulation training for final year students is appropriate and helps our students’ meet their learning needs. Allocating resources to provide our growing student body with this learning experience is justified.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith TD, Bien J, Min SY, Villariera AC

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 13th Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference

Year of Conference: 2016

Print publication date: 13/01/2016

Acceptance date: 19/09/2015

Publisher: National University of Singapore


Notes: Poster presentation