The masked educator-innovative simulation in an Australian undergraduate medical sonography and medical imaging program
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Kerry Reid-SearlKerry Reid-Searl, Anita Bowman, Margaret McallisterMargaret Mcallister, Cynthia Cowling, Kelly SpuurKelly Spuur
Background. Clinical learning experiences for sonography and radiography students typically involve the practice of technical procedures and rarely focus on developing communication skills with patients. Whilst patient-based simulation scenarios have been widely used in other health education programs, it has not been documented in the learning and teaching for sonography or radiography. Aim and objective. A study was undertaken to explore undergraduate medical sonography and medical imaging students’ experience of Mask-EDTM (KRS Simulation), a humanistic and realistic simulation technique where the educator is hidden using wearable realistic silicone body props and is able to guide students’ learning in technical and communication domains. Methods. Focus group interviews were conducted with 11 undergraduate medical sonography and medical imaging students at a regional university in Australia. Prior to these interviews, participants were engaged in a learning activity that featured the use of the Mask-EDTM (KRS Simulation), method. The expert educator transforms into a character which then becomes the platform for teaching. This involved the simulation of two patients, based on a pre-developed characters and using masks and appropriate clothing to authenticate the simulated patient. Thematic analysis was undertaken to identify key elements of the simulated learning experience.Results. The characters presented to students were viewed as realistic which enabled participants to engage with the character and eliminate common barriers to peer simulation. Themes of significance included: benefits of interacting with someone real, rather than another student, learning made fun, awareness of empathy, communication skills, engaged problem solving and purposeful reflection. Conclusion. Mask-EdTM (KRS Simulation) combined with interactive sessions with an expert facilitator has demonstrated positive benefits to the effectiveness of the student learning experience. The results of this study are similar to those published in nursing which gives potential for this new and innovative simulation method being used routinely for aspects of allied health undergraduate programs which better involve the non-technical aspects of the professions.