What I'm Celebrating this Healthcare Simulation Week


By SimGHOSTS Board Member Billie Paschal 

Billie Paschal sharing her enthusiasm for healthcare simulation at the recent SimGHOSTS USA event in Miami.   

Here it is again Healthcare Simulation week.  My, how time flies; it just seems like yesterday we were in San Antonio for IMSH 2019.  As we prepare for the third observation of “our” week, are you asking yourself why?  Why a week for our industry?  Do not ask just why, but why has it taken so long?

I joined simulation in a part-time capacity in 2011, and my life has never been the same since.  I have learned about myself, patient safety, growing industry, and community.  We deserve a week to honor and showcase what we do.  I remember unboxing my first Nursing Anne, and thinking, “What have I just gotten myself into? Who in the world dreamed this up?”  As a former preschool teacher this was the largest action figure I had ever seen.  Healthcare simulation has become my second career, a progression from working young minds to adult minds.

I am looking forward to this week.  A week to observe what I have found a passion for, what I am a champion for, what I have written proposals for, tracked grants, researched data, spent way too many unpaid hours in at the office — a week for me to feel proud. 

This is the week to reflect on how we contribute to patient safety.  Working in the hospital setting I have seen how what happens in simulation goes directly to the unit; realizing that professionals are not resting on their laurels and we are not okay with having medical errors as the third cause of death in America.  Let us take this week to share with the world how we are trying to keep them safe.

This week is not to take a moment for those of us in the simulation center, but also our vendors.  Really, how would we do what we do without them?  Our human simulators, CPR manikins, task trainers, simulated blood and various body parts.  Let’s acknowledge how they work with us to develop what we need to do our jobs.  They are spending money on research and development to help us help others, using our input to make their products better.  Our industry has reached into gaming, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.  I cannot wait to see where the future takes us while we are working together.

This week let us stop and thank our community.  Organizations like SimGHOSTS have helped put like-minded people together.  As many know, mentoring is my passion!  Mentoring has allowed for my success in this career.  Our community has such a unique mix of people.  Educators, technicians, operations specialist, directors, administrator, salespeople.  People who are ‘techy’, people who are not.  People with a healthcare background, those from other backgrounds.  People who are introverted, people who are not. People who can make moulage, those who cannot.  This wonderful community is where the not’s get help from those that can.  If the “cans” are unable to meet your needs they will help guide you to someone that can. 

Take this week to participate in the activities associated with ‘our’ week.   Share it with your leadership.  Reach out to your marketing team to share as well.  Be your own champion!  This is the week to highlight the amazing work we do for educating the healthcare professionals of today and tomorrow.  We are helping change the future.