Background In order to improve the simulation experience for learners, money has been invested in purchasing high fidelity manikins, while simulation labs have been redecorated to resemble resuscitation areas and operating theatres. Given this financial outlay it is perhaps remarkable that little attention has been given to medication safety. Traditionally, drug administration has been simulated “verbally” or via the use of pre-label syringes. Such methods do not allow the process of drug administration to be correctly simulated and the use of real or out of date drugs has its own logistical problems and cost implications.
Description of innovation We used Lego bricks to act as our “SimDrug”. Over one hundred bricks were labelled with a drug name, strength unit or route of administration. The user of the SimDrug has to select the correct drug, dosage, route of administration and then “assemble” the drug together. SimDrug reinforces the process of prescribing and administration. It also simulates both the difficulty of finding the correct drug in an emergency situation and the natural time delay between drug prescription and drug administration at a fraction of the cost of using real drugs.
Methodology Candidates who completed the Medical Students Simulation Course at Dewsbury and District Hospital were asked to complete a structural feedback forms.
Outcomes Thirty feedback forms were completed (100% response rate). A total of 73% found it difficult to locate the correct drug among those available while 80% felt their stress level increased when asked to identify the correct drug in a time critical situation. In total 86% of candidates stated that without SimDrug their experience and the effectiveness of the teaching would be diminished.
Conclusion The use of SimDrug provided a realistic simulation of drug selection and administration thus enhancing the learning experience.
Weller J. Simulation in undergraduate medical education: bridging the gap between theory and practice. Med Educ 2004;38(1):32–38
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