Frequently Asked Questions – Part 1

SP Training Debrief

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It’s not always smooth sailing when building or running a simulation program. To help you address issues you may be facing, we are sharing some Frequently Asked Questions we receive, and our advice for these situations and concerns.

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Why should SPs Give Verbal Feedback? How do I justify the extra time?

Some programs have SPs just there to act and fill out a checklist, Really, SPs should stay for the duration of the debriefing, from start to finish with the learner. We recommend having a verbal feedback form with a checklist, but the SP does give that verbal feedback during the debriefing process with proper feedback and conversation, the learner can truly understand the patient perspective.

In some programs, SPs are paid. While it’s tempting to save budget by having the SP just act, you’re only using them to about 20% of their potential. Learners gain the most during the debriefing process, so providing them the opportunity to learn from the patient gives them an incredible advantage they wouldn’t otherwise have.

At the University of Delaware, we had a psych intake simulation. After completing the psych intake form, the student would move on to the depression assessment. During debrief, the SP provided constructive feedback. On a positive note, the patient felt it was a conversation rather than an interrogation; the student made the comment that it was something they are working on trying to be less abrasive. They were able to take feedback from a previous simulation, identify a weakness, and then get feedback in this simulation acknowledging the improvement.

From a facilitator’s perspective, we’re supposed to encourage conversation. You can look at your learning objectives and ask the patient their perspective to get that conversation going. One of the labor and delivery simulationists at The University of Delaware will always precurse the end of the simulation if a student doesn’t ask questions with “this is your only opportunity to ask a patient these questions,” because very rarely to it appropriate to ask a patient these questions.

To really understand how the patient felt and experienced that care is so important. Studies show that learners care more about what the patient thinks at the end of the simulation than what the facilitator thinks.

How can faculty Maximize feedback from an SP?

  • Make sure your students are asking good questions.
    • Things can be missed from the control room.
    • Encourage SPs to be honest
  • There needs to be a focus on what the SP will discuss.
    • Don’t distract yourself while the SP is giving feedback.
  • Don’t be afraid to go back to a problem in the simulation and replay it with the SP in character to re-do the simulation.
    • This gives the learner an opportunity to not just identify

Avkin’s educational services offer much more detail on the feedback and debriefing process. We offer both Professional Development Consultation and our SP certificate program.

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