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LETTER TO EDITOR
Ahead of print publication  

Simulation: Will it be a new patient in the COVID era?


1 Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Command Hospital (Southern Command), Pune, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Internal Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission15-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication19-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Vishal Mangal,
Department of Internal Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 441 1040, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_93_20



How to cite this URL:
Kaur KB, Dwivedi D, Mangal V. Simulation: Will it be a new patient in the COVID era?. J Mar Med Soc [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2020 Sep 19]. Available from: http://www.marinemedicalsociety.in/preprintarticle.asp?id=292696



Sir,

The education has been hit particularly hard in this COVID pandemic, with 1.53 billion learners out from the institutions impacting 87.6% of the world's total enrolled learners.[1] It included primary, secondary, graduate, and postgraduate students. The medical students who are the nation's strength and backbone suffered a lot in their learning during this pandemic scare. The outpatient services were suspended entirely, and the inpatient services were limited to only emergency admissions. The patient load decreased and so the patient exposure for the postgraduate students. The inhibition of sitting in a closed environment and maintaining social distancing decreased the frequency of classes and interactive sessions. The mandate to keep the strength minimum in the wards led to a decline in bedside discussions.

In this overgrowing pandemic, we discovered new tools to overcome our limitations. The online platforms for teaching such as Zoom, Google Meet, Google Classroom, and Skype were already there, but their potential was underestimated until this time of lockdown. However, several questions come to our mind:

  1. Till what time are we going to follow this pattern? These interactive classes are worthy of our theoretical up-gradation of knowledge. However, what is the future of the necessary learning opportunities?
  2. What about hands-on training for the residents?
  3. How are we planning to incorporate practical training in our trainees in the face of lockdown and necessary social distancing?


In this present situation, can we put the finger on what is the endpoint? The bed strength has gone down.

Hence, we thought about virtual patients like simulators. Simulation is a method or technique that is employed to produce an experience without going through the real event. Simulation can provide a safe environment to reflect on and learn from mistakes without a professional identity threat.[2] Simulating the case scenarios and teaching them is not new.[3] But, is it not the need of an hour today or soon? The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war. The ongoing scenario is not letting us sweat at all in the want of the patients. The trainees, especially in the clinical branches, even after attending the classes online and discussing the case problems on open online forums, still need a practicing ground. For that matter, other paraclinical branches also need the same.

Medical simulation enhances clinical competence at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It has many advantages that can improve patient safety and reduce health-care costs by improving the medical provider's competencies.[4]

Simulation has been introduced in medical education quite a long time back. The incoming time warrants the increased use of this underutilized modality to date.

Furthermore, this lockdown period has taught us more about distance learning. The more ways and more use of various technologies to be used for the same. Without causing any crowding of the classrooms, these interactive classes can occasionally be continued even after the regularization of the duties.

The high-definition videos, including simulations and simulated patients, can be made available and incorporated in the curriculum. They can also be circulated in the distant peripheral hospitals for easy learning of the medical officers.

The future of education warrants an addition of the simulation and virtual patients in the prospectus. Incorporating it sooner will save us the imminent disaster of making the clinicians without exposing them to patients. Its time… to think? Sooner, the better.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
COVID-19 and Education in Emergencies – Education Cannot Wait; 2020. Available from: https://www.educationcannotwait.org/covid-19/. [Last accessed on 2020 Jun 01].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Hing YS, Phoon PC, George KC, Tony TN. Simulation in medical education. J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2019;49:52-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Scalese RJ, Obeso VT, Issenberg SB. Simulation technology for skills training and competency assessment in medical education. J Gen Intern Med 2008;23 Suppl 1:46-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Al-Elq AH. Simulation-based medical teaching and learning. J Family Community Med 2010;17:35-40.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

 
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