Simulation-based education (SBE) is common in resource-rich locations, but barriers exist to widespread implementation in low-resource settings (LRSs). Vital Anesthesia Simulation Training (VAST) was developed to offer low-cost, immersive simulation to teach core clinical practices and nontechnical skills to perioperative health care teams. To promote sustainability, courses in new locations are preceded by the VAST Facilitator Course (VAST FC) to train local faculty. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of VAST FC graduates in translating postcourse knowledge and skills into their workplaces.
This qualitative study used focus group interviews with 24 VAST FC graduates (from 12 low- and middle-income and 12 high-income countries) to explore how they had applied new learning in the workplace. Focus groups were conducted by videoconferencing with data transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis.
Enabler themes for knowledge and skill translation following facilitator training were (1) the structured debriefing framework, (2) the ability to create a supportive learning environment, and (3) being able to meaningfully discuss nontechnical skills. Two subthemes within the debriefing framework were (1.1) knowledge of conversational techniques and (1.2) having relevance to clinical debriefing. Barrier themes limiting skill application were (1) added time and effort required for comprehensive debriefing, (2) unsupportive workplaces, and (3) lack of opportunities for mentorship and practice postcourse.
Participants found parallels between SBE debriefing conversations, clinical event debriefing, and feedback conversations and were able to apply knowledge and skills in a variety of settings post course. This study supports the relevance of simulation facilitator training for SBE in LRSs.