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Confident but not theoretically grounded – experienced simulation educators’ perceptions of their own professional development

Authors Allvin R, Berndtzon M, Carlzon L, Edelbring S, Hult H, Hultin M, Karlgren K, Masiello I, Södersved Källestedt ML, Tamás É

Received 29 September 2016

Accepted for publication 12 November 2016

Published 20 January 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 99—108


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Maria Olenick

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder

Renée Allvin,1 Magnus Berndtzon,2 Liisa Carlzon,3 Samuel Edelbring,4,5 Håkan Hult,6 Magnus Hultin,7 Klas Karlgren,5,8 Italo Masiello,9 Marie-Louise Södersved Källestedt,10 Éva Tamás,11

1Clinical Skills Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, 2Metodikum – Skill Centre of Medical Simulation Region County Jönköping, Jönköping, 3Simulation Centre West, Department of Research, Education and Development, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, 4Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, 5Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, 6Institute of Medicine and Health, Medical Faculty, Linköping University, Linköping, 7Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Medical Faculty, Umeå University, Umeå, 8Department of Research, Education and Development and Innovation, Södersjukhuset Hospital, Stockholm, 9Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institutet, Södersjukhuset Hospital, Stockholm, 10Clinical Skills Centre, Centre for Clinical Research, Uppsala University, Västerås, 11Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Institute of Medicine and Health, Medical Faculty, University of Linköping, Linköping, Sweden

Background: Medical simulation enables the design of learning activities for competency areas (eg, communication and leadership) identified as crucial for future health care professionals. Simulation educators and medical teachers follow different career paths, and their education backgrounds and teaching contexts may be very different in a simulation setting. Although they have a key role in facilitating learning, information on the continuing professional development (pedagogical development) of simulation educators is not available in the literature.
Objectives: To explore changes in experienced simulation educators’ perceptions of their own teaching skills, practices, and understanding of teaching over time.
Methods: A qualitative exploratory study. Fourteen experienced simulation educators participated in individual open-ended interviews focusing on their development as simulation educators. Data were analyzed using an inductive thematic analysis.
Marked educator development was discerned over time, expressed mainly in an altered way of thinking and acting. Five themes were identified: shifting focus, from following to utilizing a structure, setting goals, application of technology, and alignment with profession. Being confident in the role as an instructor seemed to constitute a foundation for the instructor’s pedagogical development.
Conclusion: Experienced simulation educators’ pedagogical development was based on self-confidence in the educator role, and not on a deeper theoretical understanding of teaching and learning. This is the first clue to gain increased understanding regarding educational level and possible education needs among simulation educators, and it might generate several lines of research for further studies.

Keywords: continuing professional development, interviews, medical simulation, pedagogical development, simulation educator

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