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Below is an excerpt from an article written by Zach Read and originally published on the UNC School of Medicine website. Highlighted is our program’s use of SPs as actors to play roles of surgeon, nurse, tech, and other OR team members, with the aim of increasing realism of high-fidelity simulation training.
SPs take on new roles as “embedded persons”
In summer 2013, the Consortium for Anesthesia Patient Safety and Experiential Learning (CAPSEL) at UNC developed an innovative use of SPs by creating a truly immersive, high-fidelity operating room environment that can’t be simulated with a computer patient alone.
Serving as so-called “embedded persons,” or EPs, SPs enter the OR to play the role of surgeon, nurse, or other team member during simulated emergency situations that demand immediate response from anesthesiology residents. Situations may include anaphylaxis, cardiac arrest, severe blood loss, or transfusion reaction, among others.
The resident, surgeon-EP, and nurse-EP care for a computerized mannequin “patient” in the simulated OR while several resident colleagues monitor the scene from a nearby observation deck. CAPSEL faculty members direct the scenario from a control deck, with the help of a simulation tech specialist. They may provide the EPs with verbal cues via microphone headsets to enhance or clarify the emergency medical conditions for the resident.
Changes to medical condition require the resident to apply crisis management skills and develop critical thinking in response to crises. And, this type of simulation offers practice for rare but serious conditions in an on-demand way that residency itself doesn’t offer. But that’s not all they learn…