We previously reported that experienced clinicians find the process of collectively building and participating in simulations provide (1) a unique reflective opportunity; (2) a venue to identify different perspectives through discussion and action in a group; and (3) a safe environment for learning. No studies have assessed the value of collaborating with standardized patients (SPs) and patient facilitators (PFs) in the process. In this work, we describe this collaboration in building a simulation and the key elements that facilitate reflection.
Three simulation scenarios surrounding communication were built by teams of clinicians, a PF, and SPs. Six build sessions were audio recorded, transcribed, and thematically analyzed through an iterative process to (1) describe the steps of building a simulation scenario and (2) identify the key elements involved in the collaboration.
The five main steps to build a simulation scenario were (1) storytelling and reflection; (2) defining objectives and brainstorming ideas; (3) building a stem and creating a template; (4) refining the scenario with feedback from SPs; and (5) mock run-throughs with follow-up discussion. During these steps, the PF shared personal insights, challenging participants to reflect deeper to better understand and consider the patient's perspective. The SPs provided unique outside perspective to the group. In addition, the interaction between the SPs and the PF helped refine character roles.
A collaborative approach incorporating feedback from PFs and SPs to create a simulation scenario is a valuable method to enhance reflective practice for clinicians.