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High Fidelity Simulation Training Feedback

My project aims to investigate whether High Fidelity Simulation training can improve the confidence of on-call staff

Stephanie Harlow recieved funding from the ACPRC towards her postgraduate education, and as a recipient she has now written about her project.

High Fidelity Simulation Training

Stephanie K M Harlow

Clinical Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (ASPH)

As specialist respiratory physiotherapists most of us are not intimidated or fearful of the prospect of being on-call. Although we all cherish our sleep we feel equipped to deal with on-call situations. Despite our ability to take the stresses of being on-call in our stride we can reflect back on our days as juniors and sympathise with our non-respiratory and junior colleagues. They often appear to be petrified of the prospect of just being on-call, let alone receiving the dreaded phone call and having to assess and treat a patient in the middle of the night. The cry of “I know I’m competent but I don’t feel confident” rings in the ears of respiratory physiotherapists providing on-call teaching. The lack of confidence many junior physiotherapists suffer translates into work related stress and impacts upon the recruitment and retention of staff into the speciality (Dunford et al., 2011, Mottram, 1988, Roskell and Cross, 2003). The iCSP discussion boards demonstrate that on-call training remains a hot potato. One method mooted to address some of the concerns around on-call training is high fidelity simulation (HFS) training (Shannon, 2013). The use of HFS appears to be ever increasing as demonstrated by regular items from the CSP (CSP, 2013, CSP, 2014a, Hunt, 2008). Due to a lack of evidence on the impact on both patients and staff the CSP does not currently advocate the use of HFS (CSP, 2014b). In a bid to improve the confidence of on-call physiotherapists and increase the satisfaction of on-call training we have implemented the use of HFS training at ASPH. I was aware there is little evidence for the use of HFS as an education tool. Whilst we have been lucky to access the simulation suite at no cost running HFS is time consuming for both the faculty providing and staff attending the training. As the undertaking of the HFS training project coincided with the start of my MSc at UCL my dissertation project quickly became obvious. My project aims to investigate whether HFS training can improve the confidence of on-call staff and thus address some of the issues discussed above. Part of my project has entailed focus groups and interviews, which have required transcription. Whilst the method best suited my aims I was daunted by the prospect of the transcription which is both timely and hugely expensive. Luckily for me the ACPRC came to the rescue and have kindly sponsored me funds towards the cost of the nightmare that is transcription. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the ACPRC committee for their encouragement and support with my project. The application process was smooth and easy and the response was very quick. I would encourage other ACPRC members to apply for financial support for their postgraduate education. Thank you once again to the ACPRC and I look forward to sharing the results of my project with you all soon (the light is at the end of the tunnel!).


CSP 2013. Bradford NHS trust trains physios with patient simulator [Online]. CSP. [Accessed 08/06/ 2014].

CSP 2014a. All Royal Free junior physios trained with patient simulator [Online]. CSP. [Accessed 08/06/ 2014].

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, CSP 2014b. Simulated learning: Simulated learning within physiotherapy education [Online]. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. [Accessed 01/03/2014 2014].

DUNFORD, F., REEVE, J. & LARNER, P. 2011. Determining differences between novice and expert physiotherapists in undertaking emergency on-call duties. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 39 (1), 20-9.

HUNT, L. 2008. Dummy run for on-call training. Frontline, 14 (4).

MOTTRAM, E. F., R 1988. Stress in Newly Qualified Physiotherapists. Physiotherapy 74 (12), 607-612.

ROSKELL, C. & CROSS, V. 2003. Student Perceptions of Cardio-respiratory Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy, 89 (1), 2-12.

SHANNON, H. S., J MAIN E 2013. The effectiveness of out-of-hours respiratory physiotherapy services: A review of the literature Journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapist in Respiratory Care, 45, 28-33.