Simulation-based training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Keywords:

Education, educational technology, in service training, mannequins, patient simulation.

D. AYRES-DE-CAMPOS

Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Medical School, S. Joao Hospital, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Uni- versity of Porto, Alameda Hernani Monteiro 4200-319 Porto, Portugal.

Abstract

Medical simulation incorporates mannequins and/or patient actors to allow training of clinical situations in an environment that causes no risks or discomfort to patients. Several aspects of clinical competence can be targeted in simulation sessions, including knowledge, technical skills, attitudes, communication skills, task distribution, and team support.

Technical advances in the last decades of the XX th century led to a new generation of simulators that opened the door to a new era of medical simulation. Many different types of simulators are currently available for post-graduate training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, allowing residents to achieve a minimum level of skills around the time that they start managing real patients, and allowing healthcare teams to acquire and maintain competence in the resolution of rare and life-threatening situations. Simulation-based training programmes require a considerable amount of investment in time and equip- ment, and it appears important for their sustainability to assure a clear institutional-level support, a strong leadership in course organisation, the availability of simulators that are appropriate to the learning objectives, and a non-threatening learning environment.

Simulation is becoming a growing part of routine post-graduate training and is likely to evolve to form part of assessment, continued professional development, certification and revalidation. With the place and benefits of the methodology becoming increasingly clear, the time has come for national and inter- national institutions to get involved in the establishment of objectives and standards, in order to regulate initiatives in this field and to guarantee a high quality of training.