In the past, traditional anesthesia training has mainly focused on the gain of knowledge and the learning of technical skills. However, t is now common thinking that accidents and incidents in anesthesia are usually caused by a combination of organisational and operational factors. Investigations into “human errors” have shown that as many as 80% of them are the result of human factor failure such as poor communication, poor team interactions and failures to cross-check drugs and equipment, rather than lack of knowledge or equipment problems.
These nontechnical skills are those that do not relate to medical knowledge or technical procedures but instead encompass cognitive skills (decision making, situation awareness) and interpersonal skills (exchanging information, team performance).
These qualities are not necessarily acquired by anesthesia trainees through routine clinical experience. Some life-threatening conditions, such as anaphylactic shock or a ruptured aortic aneurysm, occur infrequently enough that a trainee may become a specialist without encountering such disorders or mastering the skills to treat them. Health care may be unique among high-risk fields in that learning takes place largely on human beings.
Medical simulation fills this gap!
Medical simulation is a cross-disciplinary effort that brings together providers, including nurses, physicians, and allied health professionals across a variety of disciplines with computer scientists, researchers, educators, and human factors engineers.