ep 6. Fellowship of the Sim – Training to be a Simulationista

Learning to be an effective simulation educator is a challenge. Education theory and practice, technical aspects and leadership are just some of the knowledge and skills involved.

5367127723_97d350e6ff_oIn this episode of Simulcast we were joined by Demian Szyld, (pronounced ‘shield’…….. “like the weapon” he told me).  Demian (@demianszyld)  is the Senior Director of the Institute for Medical Simulation at CMS in Boston, where he works with previous Simulcast guests Jenny Rudolph and Walter Eppich.

He is involved in many aspects of simulation, including  as Chair of the Formal Training programs Affinity Group with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, so we thought he’d offer some great insights into this question of how to train to be an effective simulation educator.

Demian is also a simulation podcaster – in Spanish. Check out Simulacion de Sur a Norte (Simulation from South to North).

Case study one

An experienced ED nurse has been given some protected time to ‘do sim’. He doesn’t have much formal education background, but is into ‘tech and toys’ and has helped run sims in the past at his previous job. He’s enthusiastic, and has a couple of docs in the department keen too. Keen to learn more so he can run the sims better and considering is doing a formal course

Where should he start?

We discussed the importance of making friends – locally and across simulation networks – and getting an idea of the knowledge and skills required. Going to conferences like IMSH (in Los Angeles next year), the Australasian Simulation Congress, SESAM and the INACSL (International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning) conference – and joining workshops and networking.

Online resources like NHET Sim and practically focused websites like HealthySimulation.com and even You tube can be great resources. SSIH now runs formal certification programs.


Case study 2

An anaesthetic trainee is nearing the end of her clinical training, and wants to make sim a big part of her career, and is prepared to invest time and money in gaining qualifications. She may have opportunity to be deputy sim director of her local sim program in a year or so.

What options does she have?

There are many options for Masters programs and simulation Fellowships. Demian reinforced just how important it is to be a great educator to be an effective simulation leader. He strongly supports formal structured training, and described some the work of his group in looking at the common domains of practice of formal programs.

We were grateful Demian could spare the time to chat and would welcome other suggestions and resources in the comments.