Tag Team Patient Safety Simulation

So what is Tag Team Simulation? It is a simulation approach which is very creative. It involves learners participating in a play comprising of 2 acts: act 1 and act 2.

Professor Kerry Reid-Searl talking about the Tag Team Patient Safety Simulation


Hi, my name is Kerry Reid-Searl and I'm the lead for a simulation project called Tag Team Patient Safety Simulation. It is about preparing undergraduate nurses for the workforce in the context of patient safety through innovative simulation. I'd like to first acknowledge the Australian Government for the office of learning and teaching who have sponsored this project.

So the project team members include CQUniversity as myself as lead professor Trudy Dwyer, Leanne Heaton, Tracy Flenady and Judith Applegarth. From University of Technology, Sydney is Professor Tracy Levett-Jones, from Sunshine Coast University is Patrea Andersen and from Australian Catholic University is Dr Steve Guinea.

So what is Tag Team Simulation? It is a simulation approach which is very creative. It involves learners participating in a play comprising of 2 acts: act 1 and act 2. In between those acts, there is an intermission which allows for reflection. At the end of act 2, there is also a debrief for further reflection. The learners who are involved in Tag Team Simulation have roles and these are active roles. They can be actors and they have a responsibility of tagging in and out. This means that we can have maximum number of students engaged in a scenario at any one time of the play. We then have the other half is the audience and they have a responsibility of being active critics of the actual play unfolding.

It is a creative approach which is designed to foster engagement and promote active inclusion of all learners in the simulation. It is also immersive with learners with both the cast and the audience members taking shared responsibility for the actions and outcomes of the simulation. It is informed by the tenants of forum theatre and that is a process that allows members of the audience to pause and discuss the performance and suggest different actions for the actors to take. It is flexible and is without the need for specialised simulation or purpose-built facilities. So, in essence, this can be a simulation in a suitcase where it can occur in a variety of context.

So Tag Team Simulation explained. If we look at Tag Team:
T stands for theatrical, embracing the dramatic contribution of acting to education.
A is about applied and directly relevant to clinical practice.
G is guided by a director and a narrator who facilitates the learning process throughout the simulation.
T is that it's tactical and strategically designed to achieve a predefined learning outcome.
E is engaging through immersion of participants and observers in an authentic learning experience.
A it's active involvement in a dynamic and unfolding simulation experience and
M it's meaningful. It has memorable episodes and it is designed to empower learners to become agents of change.

So whilst that explains the Tag Team element, what this project does is that it extends the tag team to tag team patient safety simulation. So why have we focused on tag team patient safety? It is about having an understanding of clinical errors that occur in industry. We know that our learners are often exposed to incidents that occur out there in the real world and by mimicking episodes that can occur for students in these simulations we aim to correct issues for them and potentially build resilience. So it is also about patient safety quality standards. So we're able to address these standards within the simulations.

It is also about challenging learners to think differently to critically analyse what might be going on and to build strategies that will prepare them for their real world. So, in essence, it's about developing resilience for our students as well.
And let me give you an example. So let's say the student is in the process of doing a scenario and they are administering medication. We know from the research that students are often or may be exposed to no supervision. They can administer medication and they can make mistakes without that supervision. So in this simulation, we might have a student administering medication but in the middle of the scenario, the actor gets a card to tell them to leave the situation and advise the students that they can administer without. So what this does is identify opportunities that we know happens for students or learners in the real world and we help to prepare them for those situations in a scenario which is in a safe environment.
The standards that we talk about are:
Clinical governance for health service organizations, partnering with consumers, preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infection, medication safety, comprehensive care, communicating for safety, blood management and recognition and responding to acute deterioration.