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  • Brief (Briefing)

    An activity immediately preceding the start of a simulation activity where the participants receive essential information about the simulation scenario such as background information, vital signs, instructions, or guidelines. For example: before beginning a session, faculty conduct a briefing about the scenario to review the information being provided to the participants.

  • Computer Base Simulation

    The modeling of real life processes with inputs and outputs exclusively confined to a computer, usually associated with a monitor and a keyboard or other simple assistive device (Textbook of Simulation). Subsets of computer-based simulation include virtual patients, virtual reality task trainers, and immersive virtual reality simulation (ibid).

  • Cueing

    Information provided to help the learner reach the learning objectives (conceptual cues), or to help the learner interpret or clarify the simulated reality (reality cues); Conceptual cues help the learner reach instructional objectives through programmable equipment, the environment, or through responses from the simulated patient or role player; Reality cues to help the learner interpret or clarify simulated reality through information delivered during the simulation (modified from Paige & Morin, 2013)

  • Debriefing

    (noun) An activity that follows a simulation experience and led by a facilitator(verb) To conduct a session after a simulation event where educators/instructors/facilitators and learners re-examine the simulation experience for the purpose of moving toward assimilation and accommodation of learning to future situations (Johnson-Russell & Bailey, 2010; NLN-SIRC, 2013); debriefing should foster the development of clinical judgment and critical thinking skills (Johnson-Russell & Bailey, 2010).To explore with participants their emotions and to question, reflect, and provide feedback to one another (i.e., guided reflection). 

  • Feedback

    Information transferred between participants, facilitator, simulator, or peer with the intention of improving the understanding of concepts or aspects of performance (INACSL, 2013); feedback can be delivered by an instructor, a machine, a computer, a patient (or a simulated person), or by other learners as long as it is part of the learning process

  • Fidelity

    The degree to which the simulation replicates the real event and/or workplace; this includes physical, psychological, and environmental elements.

  • Haptic

    In healthcare simulation, refers to devices that providing tactile feedback to the user. Haptics can be used to simulate touching, palpating an organ, or body part, and the cutting, tearing or traction on a tissue.

  • High-Fidelity Simulator

    A term often used to refer to the broad range of full-body manikins that have the ability to mimic, at a very high level, human body functions.

  • Hybrid Simulation

    In healthcare simulation, hybrid simulation is most commonly applied to the situation where a part task trainer (e.g., a urinary catheter model) is realistically affixed to a standardized/simulated patient, allowing for the teaching and assessment of technical and communication skills in an integrated fashion.

  • Immersion

    Describes the level to which the learner becomes involved in the simulation; a high degree of immersion indicates that the learner is treating the simulation as if it was a real-life (or very close to real-life) event.

  • In Situ Simulation

    Taking place in the actual patient care setting/environment in an effort to achieve a high level of fidelity and realism, this training is particularly suitable for difficult work environments, due to space constraints or noise. For example, an ambulance, a small aircraft, a dentist’s chair, a catheterization lab (Kyle & Murray, 2008). This training is valuable to assess, troubleshoot, or develop new system processes.

  • Low-Fidelity

    Not needing to be controlled or programmed externally for the learner to participate (Palaganas, Maxworthy, Epps, & Mancini, 2015); examples include case studies, role playing, or task trainers used to support students or professionals in learning a clinical situation or practice.

  • Manikin

    Full or partial body simulators that can have varying levels of physiologic function and fidelity

  • Mobile Simulation

    The ability to move a simulator from one teaching location to another or to teach a scenario on the move (F.C. Forrest, Bristol Med Sim Center).

  • Moulage

    Techniques used to simulate injury, disease, aging, and other physical characteristics specific to a scenario; moulage supports the sensory perceptions of participants and supports the fidelity of the simulation scenario through the use of makeup, attachable artifacts (e.g. penetrating objects), and smells.

  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

    A station or series of stations designed to assess performance competency in individual clinical or other professional skills. Learners are evaluated via direct observation, checklists, learner presentation, or written follow-up exercises. The examinations may be formative and offer feedback or summative and be used for making high stakes educational decisions (ASPE).

  • Operations Specialist

    • An individual whose primary role is the implementation and delivery of a simulation activity through the application of simulation technologies such as, computers, audio-visual, or networking technologies.

    • An inclusive “umbrella” term that embodies many different roles within healthcare simulation operations, including simulation technician, simulation technology specialist, simulation specialist, simulation coordinator, and simulation AV specialist. While many of these individuals also design simulation activities, this term refers to the functional role related to the implementation of the simulation activities (SSH).

  • Role Player

    One who assumes the attitudes, actions, and discourse of (another), especially in a make-believe situation, in an effort to understand a differing point of view or social interaction. For example: Nursing students were given a chance to role play a patient or a surgeon. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with the terms ‘simulated’ and ‘standardized patient’ and may include medical, nursing or other health professionals. (Victorian Simulated Patient Network)

    “RuThe method of operation for running a simulation whereby the operator changes the parameters of the scene, the SP, or the simulator as the scenario unfolds; the changes are dependent on the observations and knowledge of the instructor or the operator, which is based on the actions of the participant. nning on the Fly”


  • Screen-based Simulation

    A simulation presented on a computer screen using graphical images and text, similar to popular gaming format, where the operator interacts with the interface using keyboard, mouse, joystick or other input device. The programs can provide feedback to, and track actions of learners for assessment, eliminating the need for an instructor (Ventre & Schwid, in Levine Chapter 14).

  • Serious Game

    A game designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment. Serious games have an explicit and carefully thought out educational purpose, and are not intended to be played primarily for amusement (Michael and Chen, 2006). Serious games are simulations of real-world events, or processes designed for solving a problem.

    The “serious” adjective is generally appended to refer to products used by industries like defense, education, scientific exploration, healthcare, emergency management, city planning, engineering, religion, and politics.


  • Standardized Patient (SP)

    A person who has been carefully coached to simulate an actual patient so accurately that the simulation cannot be detected by a skilled clinician. In performing the simulation, the SP presents the gestalt of the patient being simulated; not just the history, but the body language, the physical findings, and the emotional and personality characteristics as well.

    SPs can be used for teaching and assessment of learners including but not limited to history/consultation, physical examination, and other clinical skills in simulated clinical environments (ASPE). SPs can also be used to give feedback and evaluate learner performance.

  • Part-task Trainer

    A device designed to train in just the key elements of the procedure or skill being learned, such as lumbar puncture, chest tube insertion, central line insertion or part of a total system, for example, ECG simulator. It could be a model that represents a part or region of the human body such as an arm, or an abdomen. Such devices may use mechanical or electronic interfaces to teach and give feedback on manual skills such as IV insertion, ultrasound scanning, suturing, etc…. Generally used to support procedural skills training; however, they can be used in conjunction with other learning technologies to create integrated clinical situations

  • Virtual Reality

    The use of computer technology to create an interactive three-dimensional world in which the objects have a sense of spatial presence.

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