Background The aviation industry has been the leader in the field of simulation having pioneered and designed much of their current simulation training including crew resource management, situational awareness and debriefing tools. Increasingly, there is an interest in incorporating key aspects of such simulation training into the medical teaching curriculum as many of the skills, particularly with regards to human factors are transferrable skills to medicine. With this in mind and the given the current COVID pandemic which has rendered much of the aviation industry to a halt, the simulation faculty at North Middlesex University Hospital developed the first joint simulation programme with some of the British Airways pilots (Project Wingman) locally.
Objectives The objectives of the joint simulation programme is to develop and improve human factors training amongst staff working the Emergency Department, by tapping on the expertise of the aviation crew in delivering key situation awareness and crisis management skills, integrating it within the relevant clinical environment so as to enhance patient care.
Methods The simulation faculty developed a clinical scenario relevant for the trainees and delivered the simulation in situ (ie within the emergency department) whilst the BA pilots who were briefed on the clinical aims of the simulation beforehand, observed the simulation and provided verbal and written feedback following the simulation. The written feedback with relatable human factor references to the aviation industry was produced but the pilot within a week following the simulation, which enabled learners continue the reflective process after the simulation at their own pace. In addition, pre and post simulation feedback was collected from the participants to better understand and improve further delivery of these simulations training events.
Results To date, Project Wingman has conducted 2 in situ simulations in the North Middlesex University Hospital with plans for further simulation dates. Attendance of the simulation involved the core simulation faculty team, BA pilots and a multidisciplinary team of clinical staff including emergency physicians, anaesthetists, nurses and operating department practitioners. Feedback from these simulations have been overwhelmingly positive, with over 90% of the participants finding it relevant and useful for their training. There is also a shift in attitude as demonstrated in the pre and post simulation feedback where hesitancy amongst participants towards the usefulness of incorporating aviation standards for providing feedback reduced.
Conclusions In conclusion, the North Middlesex University Hospital simulation faculty feel that these joint simulation programmes are beneficial to the emergency department and provides a fresh perspective towards human factors training as well as situational awareness and debriefing methods. The skills learnt from such simulation training enhances the team’s ability to work cohesively as a multidisciplinary team even during highly stressful situations. Moreover, the provision of detailed written feedback following each session allows the learner to continue reflecting on the event and for the wider team who could not attend the session learn from it as well. A combined simulation programme will undoubtedly help clinicians to continue developing their skills in delivering the highest standard of patient care through challenging situations.
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