Skills benefits of advanced simulation training
The phrase 'practice makes perfect' is mainly used for practical skills acquisition. The ambulance staff training curriculum has always had a strong emphasis on skills development. While the simplest technology may be used for rehearsing protocols or practising basic skills, newer technologies, such as advanced patient simulators coupled with digital audio and video recording systems, could bring fresh opportunities which can help staff develop better team working skills. Such types of higher level skills can only be addressed through realistic simulation training scenarios, which are safe re-enactments of real-life situations that may involve other emergency services. There is now an increasing body of evidence to demondtrate that using simulation training can significantly enhance the level of preparedness for health care professionals to deal with a range of situations and help them develop clinical skills and knowledge. Ambulance personnel still have too few opportunities to take part in highly realistic simulation exercises followed by structured debriefings that enhance reflection. Quality of patient care may be improved by increased investment of ambulance services in this area of continuing professional development for their staff.