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Table 2 Main findings related to the first-year doctors evaluation of the course content, format and structure

From: Simulation-based training of junior doctors in handling critically ill patients facilitates the transition to clinical practice: an interview study

Course aspect Main findings
Pre-course preparation ▪ Course preparation is beneficial.
▪ A low level of updated theoretical medical knowledge on the subject impairs focus on the desired learning regarding non-technical skills
Course content ▪ Standardised tools/algorithms are what is remembered – they allow you to regain focus when lost in emergency situations
▪ The individual gain and motivation depends on the actual current work-related context (department) of the doctor. Handling critically ill patients daily probably increases an individual’s motivation for course participation
▪ Updating and refreshing existing knowledge and capabilities are needed
Level of scenario difficulty and scenario focus ▪ Level of difficulty needs to be balanced
▪ More direct feedback related to the simulated patient treatments is wanted
▪ Keeping focus in the course on the relevant issues in the sudden transition from ‘theory to praxis’ experienced by the foundation year doctors and addressing the critical situations that may be feared accordingly is important
Theoretical lectures vs. simulation training ▪ The balance between theory and praxis and the time for reflection generates optimal outcome from the course
Playing other professions in SBT ▪ There is a pronounced learning potential in playing different professions in simulation, e.g. realising the necessity of good communication strategies and adjusting the expectations and attitudes to ‘real life’ teamwork.
▪ However, the most rewarding is playing the role of your own profession.
SBT with other health professions. ▪ Training with other health professions (e.g. nurses) might be valuable – they are the ones you are surrounded by in a real-life situation with a critically ill patient.
Realism in simulation ▪ Scenario realism is important for maximizing the gain from the course – you forget it is not a ‘real life’ situation
▪ This realism depends on the attitude of the participants – if one refuses to ‘play’, realism drops heavily
▪ The scenario complexity has to be limited to allow focus on relevant learning goals and preventing chaos impairing learning.
Safe learning environment ▪ Feeling safe without the risk of embarrassment in front of colleagues is important for the learning outcome of the course.
▪ Individuals feel ‘safer’ when everyone participates; rotating roles for each simulated scenario, within the same group, and by knowing it is not a real patient.
▪ A moderate feeling of pressure to act in the simulated context is necessary and contributes with potential mental preparation for ‘real-life’ situations.
Recapitulation ▪ There was considerable satisfaction with the course content and structure
▪ Simulation is an effective and popular learning method
  1. SBT Simulation-based training