Background The simulation of adverse drug events is a very powerful tool for teaching Pharmacy students, and research has shown that the more realistic a situation is (whilst maintaining the safe environment), the “better” the learning experience.1,2 We currently use the human patient simulator (iStan3) to demonstrate the effects of drugs in health and disease, whether in therapeutic or toxic doses. This provides a realistic model with which to demonstrate the possibly fatal effects of drugs under different circumstances, whilst in a safe environment.
iStan and the Müse4 software was used by final year Pharmacy students to design, develop and run several teaching sessions, simulating case studies to demonstrate the effects of different drugs. Role-play was used in some cases to add realism to the scenario, enhancing the effect of the simulation.
Methodology Several scenarios were chosen to demonstrate the effects of an accidental or deliberate drug overdose. The drugs chosen were relevant to the curriculum, and case studies were used to develop a realistic scenario for demonstration. The Müse software was used to design suitable simulated experiences, and these were presented to peers using iStan in a series of small-group teaching sessions. Ethical considerations were taken into account, and feedback was collected from the students following the sessions.
Outcomes The scenarios were successfully demonstrated, using varying degrees of role play and realism, enabling the participants to “experience” the effects of the drugs on the patient. The feedback reflected the benefits of experiential learning in situations such as drug overdose and toxicity.
Take home messages
Simulation can be a powerful tool for demonstrating dangerous situations, in a safe environment;
Role-play can add realism to a simulation, enhancing the experience;
Scenarios work well when chosen and designed to integrate into the curriculum, adding to existing teaching rather than as a “stand alone” element.
Harder BN. Use of simulation in teaching and learning in health sciences: a systematic review. J Nurs Edu 2010;23–28
Issenberg SB, McGaghie WC, Petrusa ER, Gordon DL, Scalese RJ. Features and uses of high-fidelity medical simulations that lead to effective learning: a BEME systematic review. Med Teacher 2005;27(1):10–28
iStan CAE Healthcare http://www.caehealthcare.com/eng/patient-simulators/istan
Müse CAE Healthcare. http://www.caehealthcare.com/eng/patient-simulators/istan
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