Spotlight on Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Spotlight on Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
By: SIG Chairs
Compiled and submitted by: Todd Lash

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are groups that work to strengthen the relationships, awareness, knowledge and skills specific to a particular aspect of SP practice. ASPE currently has four SIGs (GTA/MUTA, Hybrid, Interprofessional Education, and SPs Beyond Healthcare) that are all housed with the Educational Content Committee. In general all SIGs serve the following purposes:

  • Provide workshops at the ASPE conference
  • Be a resource for ASPE members
  • Share solutions and best practices in their area of interest
  • Stay current with technology and terminology

If you are interested in joining a SIG, or learning more about them, please look for opportunities at the ASPE conference June 4 – 7 in Alexandria, VA. Various conference sessions and workshops are sponsored by SIGs, and there will be other opportunities before the conference officially starts on June 4, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. in the Birch Room, during the committee meeting breakfast on June 6, 7 – 8 a.m., or during the business meetings on June 6, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. In addition, general information about each of the SIGs, provided by the SIG Chairs, can be found below. If you will not be attending the conference this year you may contact the Chairs directly.

GTA/MUTA SIG – Samm Maloney, Interim Chair ([email protected])

The GTA/MUTA SIG focuses on all things related to Gynecological Teaching Associates and Male Urogenital Teaching Associates. Specific SIG activities include:

  • Developing guidelines and standards for the training of GTAs and MUTAs
  • Networking with other organizations and associations that have a shared interest in these types of exams (e.g., The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)

GTAs and MUTAs teach physical exam and communication skills from a layperson’s perspective, paying particular attention to patient empowerment.

Hybrid SIG – Carol Fleishman, Chair ([email protected])

The Hybrid SIG focuses on multi-modal simulations that include simulators or task trainers and human participants. Examples of hybrid simulations include:

  • A learner doing a pelvic exam on a task trainer while asking the human patient about her birth control preferences
  • A clinical team working to stabilize a mannequin that is critically ill while communicating with human family members
  • A learner inserting an IV in a simulated IV arm while consoling the anxious patient

During hybrid simulations the learners demonstrate both procedural skills as well as communication skills. The SIG assists the simulation community in understanding how to best develop and design teaching or assessment exercises for individuals or teams of leaners. The SIG wants to ensure that the modality itself and individual simulated participants are treated with respect.

Interprofessional Education SIG – Dawn Schoken ([email protected])

The Interprofessional Education (IPE) SIG focuses on learning environments and settings that include two or more healthcare disciplines. Examples of IPE simulations include:

  • Nurses, physicians, pharmacists and respiratory therapists running a code in a hospital setting working to keep the patient alive
  • A nurse, physician and social worker counseling a patient in an outpatient clinic setting on managing their diabetes at home

Learners in IPE settings interact not only with SPs but also with other learners,creating an environment where each student learns by, with and from each other. The SIG works to share educational experiences and IPE cases and training methods related to any learning setting that include learners from multiple disciplines.

SPs Beyond Healthcare SIG – Kerry Knickle ([email protected]) and Denise LaMarra ([email protected]), Co-Chairs

The SPs Beyond Healthcare SIG focuses on creating and sharing tools and resources to foster innovative work that applies SP methodologies in other professional settings. SP methodologies have seen success in the following areas:

  • Education (for teachers and school leaders in training)
  • Human resources (standardized employees for management training; preparing high school students for interviews)
  • Law (standardized clients)
  • Law enforcement (training officers to de-escalate non-violently)
  • Veterinary medicine (standardized pet and animal owners)

Using SPs in non-healthcare settings provides alternate revenue sources by attracting non-traditional clients to your SP program, allows SPs to develop their skills in those non-traditional fields, and solidifies your reputation as simulation educators outside your institution. The SIG also focuses on analyzing current practices, producing scholarly work, and collaborating with peer institutions.

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