What kind of feeling was it to be the very first lecturer at SIMU? And what did you teach?
First aid, as a part of the curriculum for students in the first study year of the General Medicine and Dentistry, was the first subject being taught. The study plan consists of 6 lessons in total. The first lesson was focused on treating unconscious patients. Students learnt and practically tried to assess patient´s conditions of unconsciousness, to clear air passages, to call for help, and to take care of an unconscious patient until the arrival of an ambulance.
SIMU and generally simulation medicine in connection with teaching at the Faculty of Medicine is the news, the challenge for lecturers and the great expectation for students. For that reason, I was a little nervous before my first teaching. First aid was being prepared for a few years and in my opinion, the most important part of work was done by people who are not seen as much. I am talking about a team of doctors, students, and technicians which gave first aid its current form. There is great meaning in teaching, so being able to take part in, makes me feel pleased.
Did you attend any courses in simulation medicine at FM MU before your first lesson?
Teaching based on simulations has not been a standard part of a study at FM MU so far. As lecturers, we passed regular trainings and detailed preparations for teaching before the opening of courses at SIMU. Personally, for me as a clinical doctor with not much previous teaching experience, this preparation process made my first meeting with students much easier.
Could you describe the differences between teaching at SIMU and the "standard" teaching at the faculty?
Unfortunately, I cannot compare, because I have only taught at SIMU. But I experienced the "standard" way of education as a student at FM when there was no SIMU at that time. The main difference, for every student, is in the possibility of trying, experiencing and getting practical skills which is provided by lessons at SIMU not as much by regular classes.
The theoretical preparation is necessary for coming to first aid classes at SIMU. Study materials are accessible in e-learning form which is interactive, and also contains short educational videos. A pre-test must be passed before the beginning of every course. There is a different teaching concept. Firstly, there is a short information summary of a current lesson, and a discussion centred on complicated and unclear issues follows. The next part is fully dedicated to practical training within different simulation scenarios of real situations provide the opportunity for students to train on each other or on simulators. During the last part of the lesson, during debriefing, the whole simulation is evaluated once more based on a revision of correctness of each implemented procedure, and possibly, students can retry key practical skills.
Every student experiences the role of a saviour as well as of a patient, every student can repeatedly try each practical skill (e.g. breath control, head positioning etc.). The individual advance preparation of a student enables the teaching to focus on the practical part of education only which is crucial.
How did the students respond to teaching?
I talked with students immediately after the lesson and their reactions were very positive, they mainly appreciated the personalized way of learning and possibilities of trying all on their own. After the first teaching week, we have an electronic evaluation from all students. Of the total number of 665 students who attended the first lesson, 69 % evaluated as great and 27 % as very good which makes us very happy.
Could you imagine the simulation medicine replacing a bigger part of teaching at FM MU?
Education-based on simulations could substitute some part of preclinical and clinical subjects. But not every subject taught at the Medical Faculty is suitable for this kind of teaching. It is for sure, that better balance of theoretical and practical teaching will bring the education of a higher quality. This year, there has been done an extensive questionnaire survey among the fourth, the fifth, and sixth-year medical students organized by the Young Doctors Organization. The results coming from this survey show that more than half of medical students feel a lack of practical preparation and skills for their future profession. And it is education based on simulation as a standard part of a study at the Faculty of Medicine which has a great potential to increase the preparedness of medical students for their future work as doctors.