International Journal of Healthcare Simulation
Adi Health+Wellness
187 A Virtually Perfect Debrief? The Undergraduate COVID-19 Simulation Challenge
DOI 10.54531/LBEN7828, Volume: 1, Issue: Supplement 1, Pages: A71-A72
Article Type: Innovations, Article History

Table of Contents





Feedback from undergraduate medical students recognizes high-fidelity immersive simulation-based education (SBE) as an opportunity to put clinical reasoning and behavioural skills into practice whilst guaranteeing patient safety. The tool used in SBE to bridge event experiences with meaningful reflection is the debrief. Debriefing is a facilitated reflection to guide learners through a process of detecting performance issues and exploring rationales for behaviours [1]. A systematic review of high-fidelity simulation literature identified feedback, including debriefing, as the most important feature of SBE [2]. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all simulation training was temporarily halted for undergraduate students. Some students collaborated with the simulation team to create an alternative delivery method, maintaining social distancing and minimizing mixing of different student cohorts, whilst preserving the educational yield created through debriefs.


The aim of the study was to create pre-recorded high-fidelity simulation scenarios with the involvement of course participants, final-year medical students. Use the recorded scenarios to observe simulation, create meaningful discussion and explore both clinical and human factors.


Three partially scripted scenarios were recorded involving medical, surgical and COVID-19-specific cases. This included intentionally scripted learning points, as well as unintended developments which generated additional learning. These videos were designed to be shown in a virtual setting or limited number group, therefore allowing for continued simulation training during the height of the pandemic. The virtual simulation session involved a moment-by-moment analysis of each scenario facilitated by a faculty member. This allowed for an observer-led debrief and more in-depth reflection.

Implementation outline:

Most participants gave positive feedback on the perceived quality of this training modality, recognizing its potential to create an engaging environment for learning. There was recognition of its limitations; it cannot replace immersive simulation, however involving service users in the design and implementation enhanced the learning opportunities. The videos created a springboard for discussion encouraging the formation of emergent objectives, including reflecting on behaviours and attitudes. Faculty noted that students were more confident to identify and critique errors as well as challenge poor behaviours when they were not observing a peer. The participants represent a unique cohort of students whose training has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. We hope that this course has gone some way to address this shortfall.

Wells, Frost, Waller, Newbold, and Gray: 187 A Virtually Perfect Debrief? The Undergraduate COVID-19 Simulation Challenge



Fanning RM, Gaba DM. The role of debriefing in simulation-based learning. Simul Healthc. 2007;2(2):11525.


Issenberg SB, McGaghie WC, Petrusa ER, Lee Gordon D, Scalese RJ. Features and uses of high-fidelity medical simulations that lead to effective learning: a BEME systematic review. Med Teach. 2005;27(1):1028. A Virtually Perfect Debrief? The Undergraduate COVID-19 Simulation Challenge&author=&keyword=&subject=Innovations,