Educating Non-Clinical Sim Techs in Need to Know Pathophysiology – Written By Guest Author Simulation Technician Lisa Schwaberow
The field of Simulation in the medical community is an exciting and fulfilling way to make a living. For those that are clinical it is a way to pass on what they know to others. For the non-clinical Sim Techs, it is a way to give back to the community. Assisting with the training of medical professionals who will save a life is very rewarding. In a way, the non-clinical person is helping save lives by helping others learn what they know. How gratifying it is to know that as a Sim Tech you are saving lives, and making a difference in this world. Being a Sim Tech is not just a 9-5 job, where you bring home a paycheck each week. The paycheck is a bonus. A Sim Tech, clinical or non-clinical is a very gratifying career.
There is a division in the field of Simulation Technology. There are Sim Techs that are clinical and Sim Techs that are not clinical. A Simulation center cannot exist without either of these roles. A clinical person will struggle with how the software works, or what to do when something goes wrong with the technology that is a big part of the simulation experience. On the other hand the Sim Tech who is great with running the situation, they struggle with when to raise or lower the blood pressure in certain scenarios, or creating scenarios for clients that are medically accurate. They are both vitally important to one another.
Yes, a non-clinical Sim Tech can learn the terminology, reactions and pathophysiology of the human body. But if you are hiring a fairly new non-clinical Sim Tech don’t expect them to learn the terminology, the medicine effects, the circulation systems and all that Simulation entails, in a few months. Remember a clinical Sim Tech has been immersed in this knowledge for years. Be patient with the non-clinical Sim Tech, teach them what they need to know, help them in their journey to being a medical Sim Tech that can be a valuable part of the team. Chances are the non-clinical Sim Tech has an interest in medicine or they wouldn’t have gravitated towards this field.
If you are a non-clinical Sim Tech you may be asking what you can do to learn more about the pathophysiology of the human body. Hopefully you work in an environment that is supportive of your desire to learn. If you are not that fortunate, there are many apps for the ipad/iphone for assisting with this process. Here are several that are useful:
Here is an app that is great if you like to have fun while learning. This app is not a game but has some game like qualities. The app has quite a few cases. It involves a patient that has been admitted to the hospital and you must diagnose and treat them. You can choose to let the app give you a random case or you can choose the specific case you would like to test your skills on. There are cases for Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Gynecology, EMS Paramedic, Labor and Delivery, and Pediatrics. The starting screen is your patient lying on a hospital bed. You then decide what to do next. You can read the history of the patient, and their symptoms. You then choose to hook up the patient monitor, start an IV, give a nasal cannula, run tests, and order consults. After you feel you have all the information you need you then put in a diagnosis. If you ran the tests that were necessary, and consulted the specialists, made a diagnosis and put it in, then you are ranked….it is very exciting to rank above student! This is a great way to practice what is being taught in the simulation classes.
If you like to learn by memorization then this app might be appealing to you. It is the old fashion way of having index cards and flipping them, in a new high tech way. The beauty of this app is that you can create your own stack of cards or you can download sets that others have created. Most all of them are at little to no cost. Here is a screen shot of just a few of the stacks that are available.
ACLS Megacodes – AHA Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
This app is questions about ACLS. There are AHA Megacodes you “run”, choosing what you would do and it goes to the next question. This app also has the ACLS Provider Manual, but you must purchase each module at $2.99. Another nice feature is the ACLS Calculators, everything from Glasgow Coma Scale to Unit Conversions. The useful calculators are included in the app and include 21 different modules. ACLS Flash cards are also included in this app. These are broken down into groups such as Bradycardia, Tachycardia, Cardiac Arrest and more, at no additional cost.
Looking for a great Sim Tech? Lisa is looking to bring her technical experience to a new Sim Lab program so contact Lisa Schwaberow on LinkedIn!