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  1. Simulation training is proven to be beneficial for teaching technical tasks as well as nontechnical skills necessary for the critical care practitioner.

  2. Simulation is a broad method of training, which can include standardized patients, partial task trainers, hybrid simulators, advanced task trainers, high-fidelity simulators, screen-based computer simulators, or virtual reality simulators.

  3. Simulation training allows the opportunity to learn from errors without jeopardizing patient safety.

  4. Debriefing is a key component in any simulation to allow for deliberate practice and improvement.

  5. Crisis resource management is a key component of simulation training and should be stressed in all team training scenarios.


Critical care medicine (CCM) specialists face emergencies every day and are required to make decisions in a short span of time. These decisions have a great impact on patient outcomes and physicians may require years of experience in order to be competent in handling such situations. This process poses a real challenge for CCM physicians undergoing training.

As Confucious said: “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Similarly, Edger’s cone of experience emphasizes the importance of learning by doing. But, does that mean that physicians in their initial learning curve will continue to learn by doing procedures and executing management plans on patients? If we were patients, would we want a physician’s first ever procedure to be on us? Would it not be better to practice on a model before we practice on a real patient? That is where simulation comes into play.

Simulation is defined as something that is made to look, feel, or behave like something else. Simulation training gives physicians exposure to different case scenarios in a shorter period of time, and imparts knowledge, experience, and skills to deal with them confidently. Learning could be passive such as listening to lectures or active whereby the learner participates verbally by giving comments or physically by participating in the simulation.

Knowles1 described the adult learner as a self-directed learner who attaches more meaning to learning through experience than through passive learning, is more interested in learning things applicable to real life, is problem-oriented and performance-centric, and always seeks feedback in order to become more efficient. His principles of the ideal way to teach an adult learner have been included in simulation training.


Models simulating the brain, heart, airway, and other body organs have been used to teach human anatomy for many years. Medical science has come a long way from using those models to using today’s high-fidelity simulation models that can talk, breathe, and have palpable pulses. Simulation-based training has been used in other high-hazard professions, such as aviation, the nuclear industry, and the military, to maximize training safety and minimize risk. Health care has lagged behind in simulation applications for ...

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