Tuesday, February 02, 2010

When doing your best, isn't good enough

People in my class are having odd reactions to their High Fidelity Simulation marks.

When we do a High Fidelity Simulation, we're being assessed at an "entry to practice standard". In other words, we're being assessed as though we are actual Respiratory Therapists, instead of Student Respiratory Therapists. Not surprisingly, we're not yet doing very well in our simulations. We're still in the last semester of our "in school" training and we haven't even begun our 8 months of clinical rotations yet. Why should we be doing well in Simulation? We shouldn't. In about 4 weeks, we should be getting decent marks for our simulations and that's kind of impressive, exciting and frightening. At this point, anyone who's expecting to do well in Simulation is being irrational and and perhaps a bit crazy.

Unfortunately, at least one person in my class might snap. Miss alwaysright is always right and never makes a mistake, at least in her mind. Even when she's wrong, she's right. She really is quite annoying and everyone just rolls their eyes when she comes up in conversation.

Miss alwaysright is just like everyone else in the High Fidelity Simulation. She's enthusiastic and trys to do her best. Just like the rest of us, her best isn't very good. How is she reacting to this? Not well. Yesterday I heard that she's accusing a person who does the evaluations, for the Simulations, as being a liar and not evaluating her simulation performances fairly. She's not making formal accusations; she's just bitching and complaining to enyone who will listen.

I'm kind of hoping that she will make a formal accusation at some point. All of the Simulations are on video.


  1. Your friend there, missalwaysright, is going to sh*t her pants the first time she's faced with a real emergancy. What's going to happen when she has a real patient who's desaturating on a vent and peak pressuing like crazy? Or how about when she has a kid that's crashing? All is not "textbook" and you have to be flexible and trust that things will never go as "planned" when someone is trying to check out.

    If she can't handle the pressure now, what the hell is going to happen with her career when she's faced with the real situation? She might just be wasting her time in this program.

  2. I'm hoping that her Simulation experiences, will get her to see the light.

    All of our simulations, so far, have quickly turned into emergencies. Most of us have figured out that supporting our coleagues, and effectively communicating with them, is the only way to have things end well. If you're just out for yourself, you're screwed, your sim lab partner's screwed and your patient's screwed.

  3. I can definitely appreciate your comments regarding simulation. As a third year student just completing the program, I understand exactly where you are at right now.

    As a member of the health care team, you must understand that the goal of your actions is not to be right, but to improve patient care. From what you have written, it seems that you understand that point, and it will definitely help you become a better practitioner.

    Simulation is frustrating because, at times, it can feel like everything you do is a mistake. The way I see it, however, is that I am making those mistakes on a doll with a reset button (or a standardized patient) rather than on a real patient. Learning from your mistakes is better than being right.

    All the best with the rest of your program. It will feel like a whole different world when you are out on practicum!