Simulation has become a valuable teaching tool in our curriculum as a supplement to patient care experiences and didactics. The Hannaford Center for Safety, Innovation, and Simulation, located on Maine Medical Center’s Brighton Campus, is a state-of-the-art facility that provides incredible learning opportunities for our residents. Our simulation curriculum includes experiences in all three years of residency, and is designed to create a safe learning environment for the residents with the ultimate goal of providing better, safer care for our patients. Faculty that instruct the residents are chosen specifically for the strength of their teaching skills, and all have completed formal training in the use of simulation for medical education. Modalities of simulation training include:
High Fidelity Training
The high fidelity patient simulators offer unlimited potential for use as a teaching tool for both simple and complex clinical scenarios. During orientation and the first month of training, our first-year residents participate in numerous simulated scenarios of common inpatient disorders. More advanced simulation for complex clinical scenarios is offered for the senior residents at various times during their three years of training. Specific training in “code” simulation is offered at all levels of training. Many senior residents find participating in simulation to be a valuable teaching experience as well.
All residents complete a training course in performing medical procedures prior to performing a procedure on a real patient at Maine Medical Center. Additional “refresher” courses in medical procedures are offered in the second and third years of residency as well. The procedure training includes experiences in all procedures expected to be performed by an internal medicine resident, including central venous catheter placement, paracentesis, thoracentesis, lumbar puncture, intubation, phlebotomy, arterial puncture, peripheral IV placement, and arthrocentesis. Procedure training includes the use of bedside ultrasound for guidance. More advanced training capability also exists with simulators for bronchoscopy, colonoscopy, and echocardiography. For physical diagnosis training, a heart sounds simulator is utilized for review of cardiac auscultation.
Standardized Patient Center
Residents participate in simulated scenarios with standardized patients to gain training in some of the more challenging communication skills, including transitions of care, breaking bad news, shared decision making, advanced directives, and disclosing a medical error. In addition, after completion of the resident-as-teacher course, each resident participates in a standardized teaching experience.