Simulation in healthcare is rapidly replacing more traditional educational methods, becoming a fundamental step in the medical training path. Medical simulations have a remarkable impact not only on learners’ competencies and skills but also on their attitudes, behaviors, and emotions such as anxiety, stress, mental effort, and frustration. All these aspects are transferred to the real practice and reflected on patients’ safety and outcomes.
The design of medical simulations passes through a careful analysis of learning objectives, technology to be used, instructor’s and learners’ roles, performance assessment, and so on. However, an overall methodology for the simulation assessment and consequent optimization is still lacking.
The present work proposes a transdisciplinary framework for the analysis of simulation effectiveness in terms of learners’ performance, ergonomics conditions, and emotional states. It involves collaboration among different professional figures such as engineers, clinicians, specialized trainers, and human factors specialists. The aim is to define specific guidelines for the simulation optimization, to obtain enhanced learners’ performance, improved ergonomics, and consequently positively affect the patient treatment, leading to cost savings for the healthcare system. The proposed framework has been tested on a low-fidelity simulation for the training of rachicentesis and has allowed the definition of general rules for its enhancement.
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