The use of simulation-based technology in trauma education has focused on providing a safe and effective alternative to the more traditional methods that are used to teach technical skills and critical concepts in trauma resuscitation. Trauma team training using simulation-based technology is also being used to develop skills in leadership, team-information sharing, communication, and decision-making. The integration of simulators into medical student curriculum, residency training, and continuing medical education has been strongly recommended by the American College of Surgeons as an innovative means of enhancing patient safety, reducing medical errors, and performing a systematic evaluation of various competencies. Advanced human patient simulators are increasingly being used in trauma as an evaluation tool to assess clinical performance and to teach and reinforce essential knowledge, skills, and abilities. A number of specialty simulators in trauma and critical care have also been designed to meet these educational objectives. Ongoing educational research is still needed to validate long-term retention of knowledge and skills, provide reliable methods to evaluate teaching effectiveness and performance, and to demonstrate improvement in patient safety and overall quality of care.
From the Department of Surgery (R.A.C.), Pennyslvania State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania; and Department of Surgery (J.A.), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
Submitted for publication November 26, 2007.
Accepted for publication February 26, 2008.
Address for reprints: Robert A. Cherry, MD, FACS, Section of Trauma and Critical Care, Department of Surgery, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033; email: email@example.com.