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A qualitative descriptive study of SimWars as a meaningful instructional tool

Author(s): Chaoyan Dong | Timothy C. Clapper | Demian Szyld

Journal: International Journal of Medical Education
ISSN 2042-6372

Volume: 4;
Start page: 139;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: competition | psychological safety | simwars | simulation

Objectives: To investigate faculty and residents' perceptions of whether SimWars can serve as a meaningful instructional format for Emergency Medicine residents and to identify strategies to implement SimWars effectively in a residency training program. Methods: In this descriptive interview study, 5 facilitators, 2 contestants, and 8 observers were recruited from an Emergency Medicine residency program at a large, urban, university-based, level-I trauma center. Interview questions were created with the guidance of the social constructivism theory. Participants were interviewed individually. Themes were identified associated with responses to these questions. Results: (1) SimWars can be a meaningful instructional tool; (2) Debriefings and a well-structured rubric are essential; (3) Competition motivates participants to do their best, but can have a negative impact on them; (4) Residents expect to use the clinical skills, patient management and teamwork skills practiced in SimWars; and (5) Residents need more training on teamwork, including Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety™ (TeamSTEPPS). Conclusions: With its focus on competition, SimWars can be effective in residents' training when debriefings are guided by well-structured rubrics.
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