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What is Medical Simulation?

Simulation is defined as the imitation or representation of one act or system by another. The Society for Simulation in Healthcare proposes that Healthcare simulations can be said to have four main purposes – education, assessment, research, and health system integration in facilitating patient safety. These purposes are served by using the appropriate simulation modality needed to achieve the intended training objective. The types of simulation modalities available are: Screen-based/PC-based simulation, Virtual patients, Partial task trainers, Human patient simulator, Standardized patients, Integrated models.

The teaching and assessment of clinical skills are critical components of health care provider education and training to ensure skill proficiency that is essential to safe and successful health care delivery. Medical simulation has been recognized by many national accrediting organizations and is now recommended or required for physicians, nurses, and clinical providers as an extremely valuable mechanism for training and updating clinical skills.

In a 2006 Medical Education article, Paul Bradley states:
"Simulation provides a safe, supportive education environment. It allows users at all levels, from novice to expert, to practice and develop skills with knowledge that mistakes carry no penalties or fear of harm to patients or learners. It encourages the acquisition of skills through experience."

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