It’s been a busy month of Conferences for me. So, as I get ready to go to Cardiff for #EMTA18 this week, here is a short summary of my key learning points from #ASPiH2018

A bit of background for those of you who don’t know, #ASPiH2018 was the annual conference of the Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare. [https://aspih.org.uk] It’s where Simulationists from around the country come together to discuss current simulation based activity and share ideas with each other. This year the conference theme was “Maximising Impact” i.e. how can we get the most out of simulation in the Healthcare setting.

In-situ Simulation (ISS) is as popular as ever, but are we using it for the right things? The difficulty with educational methods becoming popular is that educators seem to want to use them because they are fashionable, instead of thinking what the problem is they are trying to solve and then seeing which method fits best. One of the stand out session for me was a pre-conference workshop run by Bryn Baxendale where we looked at a draft conceptual framework on ISS. It highlighted four main uses of ISS – to aid understanding; plan design; team preparation and assessment (of environment & protocols).

Virtual Reality – something I admit I know very little about. Well, there was the opportunity to have a play in the exhibition hall as well as a great keynote speech from Professor Bob Stone on how we can mix Virtual Reality with make shift environments and more traditional simulation kit to really increase the fidelity of the session. He talked about its use in medical training in the military and you can really see how its portability and ability to add in external elements (changing views from windows can make it feel like you’re actually moving / taking off) can help with training.

Research – there are so many simulation projects ongoing throughout the country, yet very few of them seem to get written up or even shared. One of the big barriers to this seems to be that we find it difficult to demonstrate that simulation directly improves patient care and safety. Perhaps here we can kill two birds with one stone – if we collaborated more, perhaps we could do studies with larger sample sizes where we’ll be able to see some direct improvement on patient outcomes, and each new place wouldn’t need to reinvent the wheel.

EM Special Interest Group – During this second meeting of the ASPiH EM Special Interest Group I was named as Chair. We’re still very much in the early stages but we’re hoping to be able to share courses and support each other regionally with planning and delivering Simulation Based Education. We really want this to be multi-disciplinary, and not only are we keen for everyone to be involved, but we are looking for an ED nurse and an ACP to be reps on the core members group. You need to be an ASPiH member to be in the SIG, so if you’re not already, but have an interest in simulation, then please join up!

If this has wet your appetite then #ASPiH2019 is in Belfast 4-6th November – hope to see you there!

Best wishes,



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