The use of simulation to fine tune learner practical skills in a host of disciplines is growing. In high stakes professions, simulation is a fundamental part of a persons training. From the airline industry to the medical industry, learners are improving their practical skills in a safe learning environment. In the medical community simulation is now ingrained into the curriculum with the use of high-fidelity mannequins (e.g. the wireless SimMan 3G) and authentic medical devices and equipment that are part of every operating room theatre or ambulance. As Kneebone (2005, 549) states, “(s)imulation is now well established within health care training and practice.” One aspect of the medical community, however, that has received less academic attention is the examination of teamwork in a simulated environment. This is not to say that teamwork has not been examined (See Lerner, et al, 2009). However, these studies have looked teamwork in within hospital environment with a focus on interdisciplinary teamwork. As far as the paramedic community, the research into teamwork and decision-making is limited (Rudd, et al, 2010). Of the research completed, the majority is on the practical aspects of care. But what about the practical communicative aspects of providing the care to a patient amongst multicultural teams of learners in a high-fidelity learning environment. What influences the learning environment?
In conducting my PhD research on learners’ experiences in a paramedic high-fidelity simulation-based learning environment in the Middle East, I found that the high-fidelity mannequin, a SimMan 3G dressed as a pregnant conservative Muslim woman, influenced the multicultural teams of paramedic student’s communication in a variety of ways. This presentation will showcase the learner’s experiences in communicating in this type of learning environment. To bring depth to the findings I will utilise activity theory as the foundation to explain the phenomenon. Specifically, activity theory will show how the mediation between the artefacts (in this case the SimMan 3G, the Islamic female clothing, and the paramedic equipment), communities of practice, and societal rules influenced the learner’s behaviour and perceptions of the object (the patient). Entwined in these mediations were the technical issues with the mannequins’ audio equipment which affected the learning environment. For the learning technologist, this presentation will illustrate the importance of supporting academic staff in creating learning environments that surprise learners into addressing ethical issues as well as medical ones in realistic stressful learning environments. In addition, how learning technologist can minimise the impact of technical issues with the mannequins’ audio system will be discussed.
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Kaptelinin, V. & Nardi, B.A., (2006). Acting with technology: Activity theory and interaction design. MIT Press, Cambridge Massachusetts.
Kneebone, R. (2005). Evaluating clinical simulations for learning procedural skills: A theory-based approach. [online] Academic Medicine. Available at: https://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Fulltext/2005/06000/Evaluating_Clinical_Simulations_for_Learning.6.aspx. [Accessed 17 June 2017].
Lerner, S., Magrane, D., & Friedman, E. (2009). Teaching teamwork in medical education. [online] PubMed. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19642146. [Accessed 16 June 2017].
Rudd, C., Freeman, K., & Smith, P. (2010). Use of simulated learning environments in paramedicine curricula. [online] Ecu.edu.au., Available at: https://www.ecu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/602828/Health-Workforce-Australia-Use-of-Simulated-Learning-Environments-in-Paramedicine-Curricula-Final-Report.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2017].