ABSTRACT: Simulation as a Tool to Ensure Competency and Quality of Care in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit
Cardiac critical care units are high-risk clinical environments. Medical emergencies are frequent and require the intervention of a cohesive, efficient, and well trained interprofessional team. In modern clinical practice there is increased emphasis on safety but also increased lack of acceptance of medical errors and as a consequence, increased litigation. In the past decade, simulation-based learning has arisen as an effective and safe means to learn and practice acute care setting skills. It has been used and studied in different contexts including procedural skills training, crisis resource management and team training, patient and family member communication skills, and health care system quality improvement. Simulation-based education is a relatively recent teaching strategy and evidence of its efficacy continues to grow. Nevertheless, many influential medical societies are now promoting a simulation-based approach for cardiovascular training and continuing medical education. In this article we review the simulation literature in the intensive care unit and evaluate its integration in coronary care units and postoperative cardiovascular intensive care units. We also provide resources for educators and clinicians who wish to implement simulation workshops in these settings.