Simulation. Technology. Educational Principles. Scholarship.
Simulation in health professions education is a specialized area in clinical settings dedicated to the development and maintenance of clinical skills. With the increasingly ubiquitous incorporation of simulation into curricula, personnel with technical and administrative skills are now required to support the delivery of simulations. To date, these personnel are healthcare providers who undergo re-training, displacing them from their clinical roles. They are referred to as simulation technicians.
Gap: In the context of massive healthcare provider shortages, this issue must be addressed using out-of-the-box solutions to avoid its exacerbation.
Solution: An alternative route, which has not been explored to date, is to train undergraduate health sciences students to become simulation assistants. In this model, the simulation assistants would perform routine, hands-on tasks that involve operating equipment, conducting tests, or following specific procedures under the supervision of healthcare professionals.
The STEPS minor program is a secondary pathway of specialization within a BHSc degree with four fundamental pillars: Simulation, Technology, Educational Principles, and Scholarship.
The minor is a 3-year program, entered in year two of the BHSc degree, and consists of core courses as well as a novel, micro-learning based curriculum consisting of a number of elective courses, course elements, micro-credentials, and experiential learning opportunities.
Therefore STEPS is designed to formally train health sciences students in simulation practice and scholarship through a mix of didactic courses, experiential learning, and placements in order for them to embark on one of the two professional trajectories: