Simulation can be used as a learning tool in healthcare settings; it can offer healthcare professionals an opportunity to learn in an immersive, realistic care environment to further develop knowledge, skills, and enhance quality of care. Simulation activities can range from 3D technology that creates virtual realities to low-tech, hand-made, inexpensive supplies and our imagination.
Bruyère CLRI developed a series of simulation activities (available in English and French) to cultivate empathy in long-term care staff. Empathy goes beyond sympathy, which places us at a distance and drives disconnection. Empathy requires that we internalize the feelings of another, and come from a place of compassion and authenticity; empathy drives interpersonal connection. So how might we teach empathy for LTC staff? Through a series of simulation activities, participants will have the opportunity to experience – for a moment – some of the challenges our residents may face as a result of their health status. Debriefing engages participants in a discussion on how to disrupt fears about disability, aging, and illness that may arise from this type of experiential learning.