The standards provide educators, clinicians, and researchers with best practices to design, facilitate, and evaluate simulation experiences. In short, they ensure high quality simulations for optimal learner outcomes. It's important to remember that the Standards are evidence-based documents, and, just as we stress the importance of including evidence in bedside care, we as educators are also responsible for including evidence in our teaching practices. To know better is to do better, and to ignore the “know" results in ignoring the “better."
Recognizing that each Standard is based on researched evidence, there are potential consequences associated with not following the Standards. These are readily found in the final paragraph of the Background section for each Standard. Some of the consequences include inability to achieve learning objectives, weakening learner engagement, uncomfortable debriefing sessions, altered or biased learner performance, and impaired learning opportunities. No one goes into simulation-based education to inhibit the learner's experience, so why create a situation that is set up to do so? Doesn't it make sense to incorporate the Standards from the very beginning?
Your turn: If you"re reading this blog, you"re already a simulation champion and invested in making the simulation experience the very best for your learners. If you haven"t found the Standards, here is a helpful link to the INACSL website. You can begin with the glossary to familiarize yourself with the terminology used throughout the documents. Next, read all of the Standards to get a comprehensive view of the current state of best practices. Finally, implement one Standard that feels most comfortable to you. With each new simulation, you can try to incorporate an additional Standard. Before you know it, the Standards will be embedded in all of your simulation practices, and your learners will gain a deeper, more meaningful experience. Ultimately our patients will be the beneficiaries of your efforts! Isn't that what teaching is all about?