I wanted to discuss some ideas of using adjuncts as part of your debriefing.
When we think about debriefing, we often think about a conversation between faculty member or members and participants of simulation with a focus on everyone developing an understanding of what they did right as well as what they need to improve upon. We rarely think about the possibility of including other “things” to enhance the learning that comes from the debriefing.
I tend to incorporate adjuncts into a many of the debriefings associated with courses that I design. What I mean is things that added into the debriefing process/environment that can enhance the discussion. Sometimes with deliberate purpose, and other times just to mix it up a little bit so that it is not just a dialogue between the participants and the faculty. It may be something technical, it may be something as simple as a paper handout.
Some ideas of adjuncts include PowerPoint slide deck or a few targeted slides that help to review a complex topic, one that requires a deeper understanding, or a subject that benefits from repetition of exposure. Another type of adjunct is the simulator log file which can help set the stage for the debriefing and create a pathway of discussion that chronologically follows what happened during the simulation. Another adjunct could be a partial task trainer or a model that helps to describe or demonstrate something. For example, the students forgot to do a jaw-thrust or open the airway. We can use a task trainer, or a teaching aide incorporated into the discussion during the debriefing.
Other things that I use are charts, graphs, and algorithms that may represent best practices. When I debrief during my difficult airway management course for physicians, I have the algorithm up on the wall hanging as a poster. We use the algorithm posters as a pathway to compare the performance of the participants of the simulation with what the ideal case would be. You can use the adjunct learning aid as a reference to standards. This can help you to take yourself out of the direct argument of right vs. wrong. This allows use of the adjunct as a third-party messenger of a reference to best practices excellence when I have the participants compare their performance against what appears on the algorithm. This allows them to discover their own variations from the expected standard. It tends to create powerful learning moments without the faculty having to be “the bearer of bad news!”
I think that if you start to strategically think about how to incorporate adjuncts into your debriefing you will find the students are more satisfied with the debriefing. It also increases the stickiness of the learning and creates a more enjoyable experience for the faculty member as well as the participants. Try it! It does not have to be fancy!
Thanks, and as always,