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About SESAM – SIM University 2022

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A new kind of educational experience in a competition format for undergraduate healthcare students’ teams. The 2022 hybrid edition organized by a SESAM team of simulation «fanatics»


Ralf Krage

Since 2014 SimUniversity has been featured as an innovative SESAM (Society for Simulation in Europe) initiative that aims to create opportunities for undergraduate healthcare students (medical, nursing and paramedic students) to take part in a formative educational experience on an international platform, by competing against each other as teams, taking part in simulation scenarios under the supervision of experienced clinical and simulation experts.  

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the SESAM 2021 conference and SimUniversity were conducted completely virtually. For 2022, SESAM took the decision to organize a hybrid edition with a virtual component as well as a face-to-face component, which will take place at the Annual Meeting 2022 in Seville, Spain on June 15-17, 2022. In total eight teams applied to participate in the first round which took place in March 2022. This year we were very excited to host a very international crowd of student teams coming from Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Spain, Ukraine, Morocco and the UAE. 

This first phase was completely held virtually. While there are numerous different technological set-ups to consider, we prioritized inclusivity over fidelity meaning that for a team to participate in the competition, they were required to have access to any adult sized manikin, so that they could perform technical hands-on tasks such as chest compression, airway management etc. during the scenario. The manikin was however switched off and the patient’s vital signs were controlled remotely by a technologist and screen shared to the students in Zoom.

Each scenario session was hosted by two simulation facilitators. The teams were confronted with basic clinical emergency scenarios (e.g. resuscitation, allergic shock, myocardial infarction, trauma, etc.). Because those skill sets could potentially differ from team to team (different national curricula, different cultures) after every scenario, students were debriefed by expert facilitators, with the focus being on promoting non-technical skills such as leadership, situational awareness, decision making, communication and assertiveness, in addition to clinical reasoning within a team. Based on their ratings the facilitators identified the best four teams who were invited by SESAM to participate in the final round for the Annual conference in Seville.

A unique aspect of SimUniversity is that the finalists’ simulations occur on stage in front of an audience during the conference including live debriefings. Thus, the competition offers a wide array of learning opportunities to diverse learners. The students and conference delegates, thus peer students and attendees, can benefit from and learn more about how to conduct simulations and debriefings, as they watch and listen into each of the simulations and live debriefings.

All sessions of SimUniversity are specifically designed to provide a safe, educational and enjoyable learning environment. The overall spirit of the SESAM SimUniversity is mainly fun and educational with a little flavor of competition.

The current pandemic and its restrictions obviously has made us rethink a lot of concepts around medical education including conducting simulation sessions. Our Society can and should be viewed as an early adopter by utilizing innovative approaches of distance learning into its program.

By combining new with traditional concepts we hope to offer learning opportunities to even more interprofessional student teams in the future.

Who are we?

This year’s SimUniversity would not be possible without an enthusiastic and dedicated team of simulation ‘fanatics’. A big ‘thank you’ to Stella Major (Qatar), Vanda Abi Raad (Lebanon), Dick van Groeningen (Netherlands), Eric Stricker (Germany), Stefan Gisin (Switzerland), Gustavo Norte (Portugal), Marc Lazarovici (Germany) and Sleiman Murr / Björn Egeland from Laerdal (our partner for many years).

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