Featured Job Listing: Simulation Technician Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

stanford simulation

Simulation Technician – LINKS Training & Support
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

Category: Clinical Services
Job Type: Part-Time
Shift: Days
Location: Palo Alto, CA, United States
Req: 5831
FTE: 0.6 (Clinical Services 0.6 FTE, 8 Hour; Schedule varies)

Job Link

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is the heart and soul of Stanford Children’s Health. Nationally ranked and internationally recognized, our 311-bed hospital is devoted entirely to pediatrics and obstetrics. Our six centers of excellence provide comprehensive services and deep expertise in key obstetric and pediatric areas: brain & behavior, cancer, heart, pregnancy & newborn, pulmonary and transplant. We also provide an additional, wide range of services for babies, kids and pregnant moms.

Job Summary

The Simulation Technician facilitates the practice and experience of applying new medical techniques, using a wide variety of technologies and methodologies. This role will assist the Simulation Specialist in the implementing new services and features for existing systems.

Essential Functions

The essential functions listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification.  They are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities.  Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Employees must abide by all Joint Commission Requirements including but not limited to sensitivity to cultural diversity, patient care, patient rights and ethical treatment, safety and security of physical environments, emergency management, teamwork, respect for others, participation in ongoing education and training, communication and adherence to safety and quality programs, sustaining compliance with National Patient Safety Goals, and licensure and health screenings.

Must perform all duties and responsibilities in accordance with the Service Standards of the Hospital(s).



  • Assists with medical simulation training by preparing for session, setting up task trainers and operating patient simulators during medical simulation scenarios
  • Prepares, plans and creates realistic simulations. Works with other staff to maintain and manage all aspects of the Simulation Lab
  • Assists in continued integration of medical simulation methodologies in curriculum, including education training, skill development and assessment
  • Operates and maintain task trainers, mannequin-based simulators, virtual reality procedural trainers and associated supplies and equipment
  • Collaborates with vendors to troubleshoot equipment and system problems and to implement hardware and software updates
  • Participates in community outreach programs and other duties as assigned
  • Sets up, operation of, and pack down of skills, simulation, and associated education equipment
  • Assists in video production such as planning, filming, and editing

Minimum Qualifications

Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities as well as possession of any required licenses or certifications is qualifying.

Education: High School Diploma or GED equivalent

Experience: Three (3) years of directly related work experience

License/Certification: None

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

These are the observable and measurable attributes and skills required to perform successfully the essential functions of the job and are generally demonstrated through qualifying experience, education, or licensure/certification.

  • Ability to coordinate multiple meetings and resources (people, equipment, locations)
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information
  • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize, work independently and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work effectively with individuals at all levels of the organization
  • Knowledge in operating high fidelity mannequin-based simulators, Audio Visual technologies, and other simulation related Information Technology systems.
  • Knowledge of new technologies (in specific field) and maintain and stay abreast of updates and changes.
  • Knowledge of hospital policies, procedures and safety and health requirements
  • Knowledge of  PC-based and Mac-based office, Audio Visual, and editing software, computers and operating systems and ability to troubleshoot the equipment

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions

The Physical Requirements and Working Conditions in which the job is typically performed are available from the Occupational Health Department. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY!


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Times Herald Interviews Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialist Sean Murphy

sim tech interview(Photo: Jeffrey M. Smith, Times Herald)

Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialist Sean Murphy from St. Clair County Community College’s simulation center was interviewed last month about his work in our “growing field”. Check out this excerpt:

“From his seat in the glassed-in control room of St. Clair County Community College’s simulation center, Murphy manipulates computerized human stand-ins lying in hospital beds in a mock emergency ward in the next room.

At the touch of a mouse, he can make the high-fidelity dummies “breathe,” their diaphragms rising and falling. He can produce an ever-present outflow of the patient’s vital stats, forcing the student nurses to constantly monitor heart rates and blood pressure as they rush about administering I.V. fluids and life-saving medications within a critical few minutes’ time. Throughout the exercise, he and instructor-coordinator Kim Murphy observe the students’ responses that are picked up and transmitted live to control room monitors. 

Murphy said health care training using simulated patients is a growing field involving working with manufacturers and sales reps and attending conferences to stay current. Hospitals are using the training with their own employees in addition to universities, and the military uses the technology to simulate combat situations among its medical technicians.

“I see it as a growing field. It’s a new and upcoming profession, and it’s very exciting, actually,” he said.”

Read the Full Story about Sean on the Times Herald Website!

Univeristy of Akron & Summa Health Offer One of Nation’s First Healthcare Simulation Technology Degrees

healthcare sim tech associate degree

Just announced on Ohio.com, The University of Akron and Summa Health Systems have launched one of the first Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialist Associate degrees — What a great day for Simulation!

Ohio.com Article Excerpt:

The University of Akron is among the first — and perhaps only — colleges nationwide offering a new associate degree for people who want to run health care simulation training. UA is joining with Summa Health System to offer a new major that combines basic medical knowledge with the technology skills needed to run training scenarios for current and future doctors, nurses, paramedics and others in health care.

Beginning in the spring, students will be able to get a two-year degree from UA in “health care simulation technology.” The program will prepare students to serve as simulation technologists, who program the realistic mannequins, medical equipment and other technology used in mock medical scenarios and emergency response training scenarios, said S. Scott Atkinson, Summa’s simulation manager.

Because formal training in simulation technology is rare, he said, centers typically recruit people with an IT or medical background and provide training for the missing skills. “There’s no formal education process to actually educate the people,” he said. “We saw the need for an actual program.” Pam Jeffries, past president of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, said she’s not aware of any other associate degree programs for health care simulation technology, though a few certificate and master’s level simulation programs exist.

“I think it is a good contribution to the education within the health professions,” said Jeffries, a professor of nursing and dean of nursing at George Washington University. “With today’s needs and the escalation and growth of simulation, I think it is important.” Simulation training allows students and professionals to practice their skills in a realistic environment before facing similar situations in real life with real patients.

Participants will get hands-on experience running scenarios in Summa’s simulation training suite, which includes an area where instructors can observe the students. Summa received a $750,000 state grant to build its recently opened simulation center and the training suite. Students also will spend time observing simulation operations at the University of Akron, Akron General Medical Center, the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron and Northeast Ohio Medical University’s standardized patient lab, where actors portray patients.

Read the full Ohio.com article here and another GosAnangelo.com Article about the new program.

Visit the University of Akron School of Allied Health to Learn More!


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Interview with University of Saskatchewan Sim Tech Malcolm White

simulation technician

The University of Saskatchewan media team say down with Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialist Malcolm White this week to learn more about his responsibilities as a Sim Tech. Have you encouraged your institutions journalism, media, and PR department to swing by your sim lab lately? You never know when free press may queue in an anonymous donor!

UoS Article Excerpt:

“Malcolm Whyte wears many, many hats.

As a simulation technology specialist, he recreates medical and clinical scenarios for health science students in the interprofessional Clinical Learning Resource Centre (CLRC). This requires a delicate, tactful mix of skills and knowledge, ranging from information technology and audio/ video to health care, education and theatrics.

“My day can go from putting makeup of a burn on a mannequin to setting up the medical scenario and getting supplies ready to scripting out what we’re going to say and programming a mannequin,” he said.

In total, he manages about 30 mannequins, which are used at distributed learning sites across the province. But these mannequins are no dummies. The most realistic, or high-fidelity, mannequins can be programmed to speak, bleed, sweat, blink, seize and respond physiologically to medical intervention. “They’re basically advanced computers with arms and legs,” he said. “They have different parts in them that mimic us.” “

Read the Full Article on Sim Tech Malcolm White here!

Watch the SimGHOSTS 2014 USA Opening Keynote Address at American College of CHEST Physicians Sponsored by Level 3 Healthcare

level 3 healthcare

Level 3 Healthcare sponsored the SimGHOSTS 2014 USA keynote address, presented by SimGHOSTS President James Cypert. This event was broadcast and streamed LIVE Wednesday morning Day 1 of the main event August 6th at the American College of CHEST Physicians in Glenview near Chicago, IL. As the keynote address, Level 3 Healthcare’s sponsorship has guaranteed this presentation will remain permanently available online for free – which you can watch now by visiting the SimGHOSTS website.

SimGHOSTS proudly introduced Level 3 Healthcareas the Platinum Sponsor of 2014 USA Event. Sponsoring both the Opening Keynote address and the Opening Reception at PinStripes Bowling, Level 3 Healthcare is looking to powerfully connect with the SimGHOSTS international community. As well, the SG14 event team  added a special plenary panel Friday morning which dove deeper into the Level 3 Healthcare’s build-out of the Cedars Sinai Simulation program.

SimGHOSTS President James Cypert presented on the importance of bringing in basic research methods in support of the professional development of Simulation Techs. He  began the conversation with a community focus and topics for future research and invite a networking dialog to establish collaboration opportunities for designing, conducting, collecting, writing, and submitting well‑formed research. The goal of this the 2014 USA keynote address was to provide some of the basic tools, resources, and methods for providing evidence‑based practice for simulation technologists, ascertaining cogent research topics, and identifying collaborative opportunities, and establishing working relationships to achieve higher levels of dialog from and with the technician community.

James presented basic research methods that everyone can apply, then begin a conversation about community focus and topics for future research. To wrap up the session the facilitator will invite a networking dialog to establish collaboration opportunities for designing, conducting, collecting, writing, and submitting well‑formed research.

About Level 3 Healthcare:

The healthcare division of Level 3 has been providing advanced multimedia solutions in minimally invasive surgical environments and simulation centers since 2007. This Phoenix based medical engineering group has pioneered designs in telehealth, live HD video distribution, recording, archiving, content management and media retrieval systems for healthcare universities, teaching hospitals and simulation labs. Level 3 Healthcare’s core competency is integrating the myriad of healthcare, simulation, broadcast and professional technology into a seamless, easy to use system or application. Our approach is to work directly with our clients to understand their use case and apply technology to improve efficiency, work flow, profitability and/or learning. Examples of our applications include; intraoperative surgical suites, digital O.R.’s, nursing simulation centers, procedure rooms, 3D visualization facilities, clinical AV networks, campus-wide central recording systems and video conferencing initiatives for collaboration and critical decision making.

Level 3 Healthcare was founded as a division of Level 3 Audio Visual who has been well established in the commercial industry since 1996. Level 3 AV had been working with a major medical university on their classroom presentation technology when they were presented with a challenge from the Dean of Anatomy. Level 3 AV was asked to design and build a cordless, wireless, mobile HD video cart for their anatomy lab. The Dean and his faculty had several uses in mind for this cart but Its main purpose was to capture high definition video from a student’s cadaver, transmit that video to an AV head end, store and meta-tag the captured video while simultaneously transmitting the video back out to twenty, high definition, LCD monitors dispersed around the lab as well as to a secondary lab located across the campus. A secondary purpose of this cart was for the creation of video text books that could be produced and stored online as an additional reference for the healthcare staff and students.

Visit the SG14USA Keynote Address Page to watch the presentation & learn more about Level 3 Healthcare, the 2014 USA Platinum & Opening Reception Sponsor!


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What’s in a Name? The Many Titles of “Sim Techs”

sim tech job title

Recently Michelle Howard MSN, CNS, APRN Director of the Allied Health Simulation Center Executive Director at Ozarks Technical Community College wrote in to ask “What should we title our new simulation technology operator position?”. What a question Michelle! I have had several job titles throughout my career as a Sim Tech, but what’s out there? I exported the titles of those attending SimGHOSTS 2014 USA at the American College of Chest Physicians early next month to demonstrate what a dynamic range of titles this profession currently entertains. I removed redundancies but will point out that “Simulation Technician” had the most results!

  • Administrative Simulation Technician
  • Assistant Director
  • Assistant Director of Simulation
  • Biomed Electronics Technician
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Technologist
  • Biomedical IT Specialist
  • Clinical Education Specialist
  • Clinical Educator
  • Sim Lab Coordinator
  • Clinical Instructor
  • Clinical Learning Lab Specialist
  • Clinical Simulation Lab Director
  • Clinical Simulation Specialist
  • Co-ordinator Clinical Learning and Simulation
  • Code Resuscitation Program Project Manager
  • Coordinator of Simulation and Technology
  • Coordinator
  • Corporate Planning Manager
  • Curriculum Coordinator
  • Education Coordinator
  • Education Specialist
  • Equipment Systems Specialist
  • Faculty Support/Health Sciences Simulation Center Coordinator
  • GME Simulation Coordinator
  • Health Science Simulation Technician
  • Health Sciences Simulation Coordinator
  • Healthcare Simulation Technician
  • Instructional Services Technician
  • Interim Director of the Learning Center
  • IT Manager
  • IT Professional
  • IT Support Technician
  • IT Technical Associate
  • Lab Coordinator
  • Lab Simulation Specialist
  • Lead Analyst
  • Learning Products & Services Manager
  • Manager Training and Simulation
  • Media and simulation technician
  • Media Services Technician
  • Medical Education Technologist
  • Medical Educational Technologist
  • Medical Instructor
  • Medical Simulation Coordinator
  • Medical Simulation Facilitator
  • Medical Simulation Technician
  • Network Manager
  • Nursing Faculty/Lab Facilitator
  • Nursing Information Technology Coordinator
  • Nursing Simulation Technologist
  • Operations Manager
  • Professor of NursingProgram Analyst
  • Program Director
  • PSA & REdI Program Administrator
  • REdI Program Coordinator
  • Senior Technology Specialist
  • Sim Operator
  • Sim Tech
  • Simulation Center Assistance
  • Simulation Center Coordinator/Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Simulation Center IT/Networking Specialist
  • Simulation Clinical Supervisor/ Simulation Consultant
  • Simulation Coordinator
  • Simulation Director
  • Simulation Education Technician
  • Simulation Engineer
  • Simulation Intern
  • Simulation Lab Administrator
  • Simulation Lab Coordinator
  • Simulation Lab Tech
  • Simulation Learning Center Assistant
  • Simulation Operator
  • Simulation Specialist
  • Simulation Specialist
  • Simulation Specialist II
  • Simulation Specialist/Coordinator
  • Simulation Tech
  • Simulation Tech Specialist
  • Simulation Technician
  • Simulation Technician Program Coordinator
  • Simulation Technologist
  • Simulation Technology Specialist (MOST USED)
  • Simulation Training Specialist
  • Specialist in Simulation Technology
  • Supervisor, Teaching LabSys
  • AdminSystems Analyst 2
  • Systems Engineer
  • Technical Director
  • Technical Lab Assistant
  • Technical Simulation Coordinator
  • Technical Support Specialist
  • Technicien de simulation et téléprésence
  • Technologist
  • Telehealth and Audio Visual Support Analyst
  • Undergraduate Simulation Technician
  • Unit Coordinator

Several years ago I worked with a team of Simulation Technicians across the state of California to build a comprehensive job responsibilities list for this position (which you can download here). The term everyone agreed upon was Simulation Technology Specialist — and indeed that is the name that is incorporated into SimGHOSTS which stands for The Gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists. We added “healthcare” so that non medical-simulation related groups could identify us as apart of healthcare, as there as “simulation technicians” in a variety of other fields — mostly from aviation.

If you had to choose a new title for the position I would argue for “Simulation Technology Specialist”!

SimGHOSTS “Sim Tech Training 2014 Events” Update

simghosts 2014

SimGHOSTS just shared the latest updates regarding their 2014 events! There is limited time left to secure passes for the Australia event, and half of the early-bird passes for the USA event have already sold out. Since 2011 – SimGHOSTS, aka The Gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists, has provided thousands of Sim Techs from the around the world with the hands-on training events and online resources they need for professional and program development. Now recognized as an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization, SimGHOSTS continues to be the innovative leader for the growing numbers of Simulation Technicians with two events in 2014:

SimGHOSTS 2014 Australia:
(June 25-27th at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia)

  • Estimated attendance has been secured and thus Early-Bird Registrations have sold out! May discounts are still in effect so register today.
  • Attendees still have time to submit their “DIY Sim Lab Project Video” for the B-Line Medical Competition for their chance to win up to $1000 in prizes!
  • Sponsoring Vendors now include:
    • Platinum Sponsor: iSimulate
    • Gold Sponsor: B-Line Medical
    • Gold Sponsor: Clinical Skills Development Service
    • Silver Sponsor: Laerdal
    • Bronze Sponsor: Limbs & Things
    • Bronze Sponsor: Scientific Educational Supplies
  • Opening Reception details to be announced shortly

SimGHOSTS 2014 USA:
(August 5th-8th at the American College of Chest Physicians in Greater Chicago, IL)

  • Half of Early-Bird Registrations have already sold out. Hurry to secure your USA registration now!
  • Attendees still have time to submit their “Sim Lab How-To” Video for the B-Line Medical Competition for their chance to win up to $1000 in prizes!
  • Pocket Nurse Scholarship Winners Announced
  • Opening Reception to be held at PinStripes Bowling! Download the event brochure for more details.
  • Sponsoring Vendors now include:
    • Platinum & Opening Reception Sponsor: To Be Announced Shortly
    • Gold Sponsor: Laerdal
    • Gold Sponsor: B-Line Medical
    • Silver Sponsor: Worldpoint
    • Silver Sponsor: CAE Healthcare
    • Silver Sponsor: Gaumard Scientific
    • Bronze Sponsor: Limbs & Things
    • Bronze Sponsor: Simulab
    • Bronze Sponsor: Surgical Science
    • Bronze Sponsor: SimulationIQ
    • Bronze Sponsor: Medical Shipment
    • Bronze Sponsor: Cardionics
    • Bronze Sponsor: KBPort
    • Bronze Sponsor: Pocket Nurse
    • Bronze Sponsor: Otosim

2014 is certainly becoming the “Year of the Sim Tech” — Learn more at SimGHOSTS.org!


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Community Feedback Agrees: Sim Techs Need Technical Background

This week my article “Avoid The Most Common Medical Simulation Hiring Mistake” has already received a lot of great responses from the healthcare simulation community on LinkedIn, especially in the HealthySim LinkedIn group which is now over 1,000 strong!

medical simulation technician

Clearly the issue of hiring Sim Techs without a technical background is a major issue within our community. HealthySimulation.com and SimGHOSTS have been dedicated to helping increase the adoption and utilization of medical simulation technology — and a major concept within that work is the recognition and promotion of the simulation technology specialist role as being a crucial component for a successful medical simulation program.

Read these great responses to the article and share your own by emailing me at: Lance@HealthySimulation.com – I will add them to the growing list!

Thomas Kemp – Vice President of Higher Learning Technology LLC

This is a GREAT observation and question I have often pondered over. I also felt the same disappointment that the author of the question you have focused on felt. “Why are graduate degree(s), and years of technology skills so easily dismissed by the medical community whom I am actively trying to assist?” After visiting several institutions, it was my observation that Universities and Colleges that had IT/AV sim-technical staff in place to support simulation seemingly had better running programs. Yet, AV/IT is often far down the list in job descriptions or requirements in simlabs. In a medical simulation laboratory where a one HF SimMan may require 3 operating systems with little to no standardization between mannequin models, let alone manufacturers, I find this almost baffling… add to the lab the need for online instructional technology and simcapture technology and I think you have a recipe for real problems in the making.

In wanting to be able to “talk the talk”, and be able to relate to my fellow Nursing, EMS faculty and students, I put myself through the Ohio 150 hour EMTB course. Without question it gave me more insight and allows me to play an active role in developing simulations technologies I am pursing. The jury is still out however, as to how “necessary” it was/is for me or others with similar instructional technology backgrounds; or just how or far a simulation tech should go in continued education. Most cases I have observed, nursing faculty was/is looking for teaching technical assistance. So, in reality the Simtech depending on the scope of the job duty and size of the organization could function more as an IT Network Engineer, an Audio Visual Specialist, Curriculum Developer or Instructional Designer, and certainly the need for a medical background is obvious.

If I were to advise someone who wanted to get in the simulation field as a career I would tell them to get a degree as a RN/BSN with a minor in hospital informatics. But, I would suggest the recommendation is based on the perceived needs of a simulation technician and not necessarily the observed actual technical reality.

This is just my perspective!

Holly Pugh – Director, Clinical Simulation Center

Lance and readers – I cannot agree more with your assessment of the need to hire qualified simulation technicians with a background in technology, not healthcare. I run a program that started in 2009 and was the “computer person” with an RN degree and certified in nursing informatics. I quickly realized that my skills in computer technology, while great for a nurse, were not going to allow me to grow my program the way I envisioned. I began discussions immediately about the need for a person with true computer knowledge (using the arguments you discussed in your original document) and was able to get an FTE for a full time simulation tech. He has been working for me for a year and a half now and the program is booming. He has the skill and expertise to manage the equipment to maximize the lifespan of the manikins, as well as to perform the AV and networking functions that used to make me run screaming from the lab. Thanks for continuing to communicate on this important aspect of running a simulation center.

Jessie Johnson – Curriculum Development, Clinical Instructor, Lecturer Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

For me personally, I think that has been the kind of slanted thinking we are programmed to do. At least I thought so. I figured you had to be well versed in health care to teach healthcare. I can honestly say that I never thought about all the techy stuff involved in the delivery of a SIM service. I think you are right most of us are at that golden age however, we are not adverse to change given the proper information and tools.

Carl Rod – Clinical Simulation Lab at Rose State College

Lance:

How well I agree with you. I started in my current position at 20 hours a week. I was hired due to my many years as a respiraqtory therapist (over 40, but I’ve stopped counting). But I have additional background in equipment maintenance, electronics, computer programming and miscellaneous “stuff”. I have been wroking to bring the lab to a higher level of usage and develop programming to challenge the students and develop “critical thinking skills”. Much of what I do is not direct respiratory care, but between what I know, what I’m learning and my “native” curiosity the lab is slowly developing.

This is still a “new” way of teaching and will take time to get folks on board. We also need to get more into specialized, student directed scenarios for other than nurses, paramedics and specialty doctors. There are a few of us dealing with RT, so we will have an impact sooner than later.
Great discussion.

Billie Paschal – Health Science Simulation Technician at North Central Texas College

I am this article! I was hired at NCTC as a contractor to put the newly purchased mankins together and make it all fit and work in the 1800 sq ft space that was given to the simulation lab. All I had were two degrees an MRS & MOM! Now two years later I have the title Health Sciences Simulation Technician, but am VERY limited in what I can do due to NO LETTERS! Part of the trouble of being in education is getting someone to listen unless you have more letters than them. I have no problem with this, and it has motived me to go back and finsih the degree I started 20 years ago. Just give someone a chance. P.S. I am a lot CHEAPER than an educator, nurse, or IT person. 🙂

Michael Lundin – Coordinator, Northern Clinical Simulation Centres at Northern Health Authority

Great article Lance, It speaks volumes to the experience and expertise you bring to the simulation world. As you know I entered Clinical Simulation just over two years ago with no Health Care Background. When they were looking to hire my position there was a great deal of discussion to hire someone with clinical or technical background. What I have experienced is that you certainly do not require your operator to have any healthcare certifications to support simulation sessions. I supported sessions for most of the first year and then we hired another technical background operator in which I trained and she too has been very successful in supporting clinical simulation. What we have also experienced is that every department or school brings their own expertise to the table which allows the operator the ability to do what they do best “set up and run the simulator”. This in turn allows the educator to do what they do best “guide sessions, observe sessions, and facilitate quality debriefing”. We have become part of the educators “team” and work hand in hand with all disciplines and departments of healthcare to deliver high quality simulation based education.

Lisa Schwaberow – Simulation Specialist at Palmetto Health

This is a great article and I passed it on. I am an IT/Computer, Graphic Artist, Photographer, and Web Designer. I was hired for these skills, yet because I am not clinical the other Sim Specs are not about making my life easy! They resent the fact that I need to keep learning the clinical side and I ask a lot of questions. They are all paramedics, emt or Firefighters, and it has caused problems. Maybe this is normal in other tech centers? I have done everything I know how to over come this issue, studying, and learning, but the minds are made up. I come in with a smile, do the best I can do, and realize that these people will never be personal friends. I LOVE my job at the Simulation Center and I love what I do and how it makes a the world a bit better place. That is why I smile and that is why I come to work everyday. This is the most amazing field I have ever worked in!

Faith Phillips –

Lance, I am an RN, and have worked in Simulation Education for several years. I have to agree whole-heartedly with you! As I have worked with colleagues from various programs, I have been rather shocked at the lack of IT support. I was spoiled in this regard with my previous location having a great Operations Manager and Sim Tech team – they could fix ANYTHING! Thankfully, they taught along the way so that I have a much stronger IT background now. There needs to be a balance for the program to run smoothly.

Great Interview Questions When Hiring a Sim Tech

hiring a sim tech
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Looking to hire a Medical Simulation Technician? Like many others, Jackelyn Csank, Manager of the Simulation Center at The MetroHealth System in Ohio wrote in to HealthySim asking:
.
“I am going to be interviewing for a sim tech position in our simulation center.  I am the manager and currently the only employee!  So, I am excited to be getting some additional help in the center.  I wanted to ask if anyone had some good interview questions to ask the candidates? I want to make sure I can get someone qualified and able to do the job.  Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!”
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That’s a great question! Here are some tips off the top of my head:
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  1. Read my article What To REALLY Look for When Hiring A Sim Tech, and note that hiring for someone eager to “learn new skills” every day and who understands they are there to get the technology out of the way – is really the best way to go. Don’t hire for medical experience, that can be trained through your team and by absorption from the environment, whereas IT and A/V training will be harder to come by. (Read the article above to learn why).
  2. Get someone from the IT department to help in the hiring process, preferably the person this new Sim Tech will be coordinating with in the future – that way, the IT department can help to select a qualified and cooperative candidate. This individual can:
    1. Help to develop the job description knowing what the IT issues will be.
    2. Help to screen candidates resumes and during phone calls for appropriate experience.
    3. Provide initial orientation to collaborative work accomplished so far between your program and the IT department.
  3. After prioritizing resumes, setup phone calls. After phone calls invite candidates in for an interview. If there is enough candidates, bring top performers in for a second interview with your boss and other educators they will be working with. Take your time with each step – hiring the wrong person can cost your program a huge amount of money.
  4. Look for people who like to teach others about technology, not just make technology work. Some IT-based folks are not the best communicators because they work in closed rooms with just computers and networks. Simulation requires collaborative discussion for success. Consider A/V a strong background, because productions require an understanding of technology and the ability to communicate collaborative with others (you) to tell a story to an audience (in this case to the learners).
  5. Train the new hire by sending them to The Gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists, an annual hands-on training event that specifically focuses on Sim Tech responsibilities! Check out the online resources of previously recorded events ands learn more at SimGHOSTS.Org!
  6. During HealthySimAdmin, a two day recorded event which brought administrators of various types of simulation programs together to share and discuss best management strategies, Sim Tech James Cypert recommended that you have your candidate teach you about a certain peice of technology based equipment or platform. Coordinate with your IT partner to come up with something basic any technology driven candidate should know (like how to check RAM on a computer), and then have them teach you, over the phone or in-person, how to check the RAM. James was right, this will provide you with an opportunity to see how the candidate will explain how technology works to you – and thus, how they will be at communicating more complicated technical issues in the future.
  7. As well, you can have your IT partner come up with 3 more advanced questions, which the candidates should be able to provide some strong answers to. We did this at the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas when hiring our IT/Simulation Technician with fantastic results. These were questions were great ways to vet out who really knows the material.
  8. Consider these typical interview questions to see how your candidate will respond:
    1. Tell us about a time there was a conflict at your previous workplace and what you did to solve it. (Shows how they deal with conflict).
    2. It’s 3pm and you are scheduled until 5pm but the educator calls in and says simulation in cancelled for the day – what do you do now? (Shows what their priorities are for themselves and your program).
    3. Tell them about a scenario where two simulation techs are scheduled for two simulation experiences at the same time – and the other sim tech has called in sick. Ask them what they would do? (This shows how they communicate with administration, attempt to support other groups but also know their responsibility is to their assigned group first and foremost).
    4. Ask them if they will be willing to work nights and weekends if needed? (Sometimes simulations can be scheduled at off times – and this is good to know ahead of time).
    5. Ask them if they have questions for you? (This shows they are thinking about working with you so seriously that they want to make sure you are just as good a fit for them as they are for you!)
    6. Ask them how they feel about learning new things? (4 years into our program one of our staff was tired of new changes, but I reminded them our program was a technology-based center and technology was always changing. Disruption could be minimized but will never go away). Seek a candidate who expects and in-fact enjoys change.
    7. Ask them how they plan to record the knowledge and procedures they will gain while working to the lab to future subordinate staff, and to your program, should they one day decide to leave (This will show them you expect them to build SOPs or other data sets as they work to help make sure the program retains knowledge gained).
    8. Ask them if they have been a supervisor in any capacity before – and if so, about a time when they had to bring in their staff for a difficult conversation and how they handled it. Your Sim Tech may become a manager of volunteer or student workers – and so an understanding of their management style would be a good thing to know now. If they have not ever been a manager, ask them why that opportunity has not come up before and would they be comfortable with it?
    9. Ask them what they think will be most challenging for them about this position will be – and why specifically you should consider them over other leading candidates?
  9. Watch HealthySimAdmin for more great hiring tips!
Lastly, consider working with an outside group such as SimStaff, who provide specialized hiring services in medical simulation including job description development, posting, screening and interviewing. Learn all about their strategies from my SimStaff article on Best Practices for Hiring Medical Simulation Staff.
*Update* Nick Bennett, Head of Simulation at St. Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospital in Merseyside England wrote in recommending you ask interview candidates to “list the three areas of simulation that excite you the most and why?” I agree! It’s great to bring folks in that really appreciate the technology and methodology of simulation – as they will be more likely to stay enthusiastic with the program throughout the duration of their career.
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Email Lance if you have more great tips on hiring a Sim Tech!

Best Practices For Medical Simulation Hiring

When hiring for your healthcare simulation program, finding candidates with direct medical simulation experience is difficult but not impossible. Previously I have written a few articles covering the topic including What To REALLY Look For When Hiring a Sim Tech, New Simulation Program Webinar, and How To Increase Lab Staff Without Increased Budgets, and of course the entire HealthySimAdmin event, to name a few.

medical simulation hiring

The goal with hiring for your simulation-based positions is to not necessarily find candidates with the most simulation experience, nor even the most medical experience, but rather the person who has demonstrated the most passion for the position. No matter how strong the core of your simulation program is, we are talking about a technology and methodology that will continue to evolve and disrupt your training program. Thus, finding individuals who are comfortable with change and go to work everyday looking to “learn something new” will far far better serve your program than someone who a) knows it all or b) cannot deal with continual change.

Finding the right fit for your program should consider experience, but weigh more heavily the fit of the individual into the controlled chaotic world of simulation and your pre-existing team. And to give your program the best opportunity to find the best person, you should consider the serious benefits of working with an outside staffing firm.

simstaff

Today, Jason Irving from SimStaff, a staffing firm which specifically serves simulation industries, wrote in to HealthySim to share some of the benefits of working with professional hiring specialists.

Why it makes sense to use an external recruitment firm.

More than ever there is increased pressure to work quickly and efficiently. With the advances in technology we have become an “on-demand” society that expects answers and results at short notice. There are pressures from external sources such as shareholders, consumers and partner organizations that then drive internal pressure at board level to hiring managers, internal human resources and recruitment teams. Added to those pressures are the increased workload many employees have undertaken since the great recession and there is very little time for hiring managers to actively recruit new employees. Even internal recruitment teams are typically stretched working on multiple assignments that allow very little time for proactive recruitment. Many internal recruiters are so busy they are only able to “post and pray” – an industry term for posting jobs and hoping they are seen by a wide enough audience to attract the right candidates.

These scenarios make it necessary to use external “third party” recruitment firms who are engaged to find suitable candidates. Recruitment / Staffing firms’ entire business model is designed to find the right people for clients – often at very short notice. A typical assignment is initiated when all other internal methods to find candidates has proven unsuccessful and there is an immediate need to hire someone to fill an empty “seat” or a program is unable to start without the key employee.

Reduce risk and Save costs

Utilize an external firm to ensure your hiring managers are productive. A well briefed recruiter should be expected to produce no more than 2 or 3 highly qualified candidates for review. Eliminate unnecessary downtime for your management team!

Utilize an external firm who has to the ability to increase time to hire – making sure your product/ service is delivered and you are not missing other opportunities!

Utilize guarantees! A reputable firm will give guarantees with any hire and replace a hire if necessary – something you can ill afford to do. If they can’t replace they will also give you your money back!

Reduce potential cost and risk by using temp to hire opportunities. You can trial a temp before you make a long term commitment.

Jason also shared these Top Ten Tips for Hiring in Simulation:

10 Tips for successfully using an external / third party recruiter:

1) Develop a partnership with a firm who understands your short and long term needs.

2) Choose a firm that has a systematic process and a proven track record in your niche

3) Describe your potential hiring needs so your partner can continuously identify candidates.

4) When you are hiring – don’t leave it to the last minute – engage early for best results.

5) Describe the outcomes / key indicators you want from the role – don’t just copy and paste the last job description.

6) Agree on how you want to proceed and set expectations.

7) Once you see resumes give quick and detailed feedback on non selected candidates.

8) Give specific post interview feedback that helps candidates and your external recruiters.

9) If you amend the Job Description tell your external recruiter so they can be effective.

10) Treat the recruiter as your partner – they will be more vested in your needs.

To Get Help With Your Simulation Staff Hiring

You can learn more about these hiring support opportunities by visiting the SimStaff website and by contacting Jason Irving via Email. Lastly, be sure to visit the HealthySim Job Listing’s Page to see what’s out there or to post your open medical simulation vacancies.