ASPE Conference Key Note with Christine Park, the Healthcare Simulationist Code of Ethics

Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Christine Park began her presentation talking about the things she loves: language, literature and medicine. Although medicine would not become a passion for her until later in her life, words and language filled her childhood. Her passion for words and language were evident throughout the presentation on the Simulation Code of Ethics. She may not have realized as a child how these seemingly disparate passions for medicine and language would translate into the work she embarked upon almost two years ago. However, the group of more than 40 simulation leaders from around the world had lots of discussion around language while crafting this new code of ethics.

The Healthcare Simulationist Code of Ethics is not entirely new, though. It was agreed to start with the United Nations Development Programme’s code of ethics. Why not start from a code of ethics that focuses on doing the right thing and clearly defines who the code applies to? What is new is that more than 40 contributing authors came together to take another step forward in further professionalizing the field of simulation in healthcare.

Dr. Park asked us to consider what makes a code of ethics special. They are self-imposed and do not focus on specific situations, and therefore, are not enforceable. However, the power they do possess is in creating a mechanism for self-regulation and reflective analysis. She also encouraged more experimentation with learners in simulation in order to drive them toward a deep place of learning. She recognized the importance of vulnerability’s role in building mutual respect which is also necessary for learning to take place. The six core values of the Code of Ethics address ways to build a community of practice that holds these principles in high regard.

At the time of the conference, the Healthcare Simulationist Code of Ethics had already been translated into eight languages and has been adopted by more than 30 institutions and organizations. If you would like to read it in full you can find it here.

Christine Park is the Director of the Graham Clinical Performance Center at the University of Illinois College of Medicine-Chicago.

Innovation posters display discussions of innovative approaches being used within a program, an activity, training or process and the criteria look for a process statement regarding how the next steps were explored and/or developed. Research posters display finalized research studies that have preliminary data completed and the criteria look for a methods statement regarding how the research was conducted. Details regarding the winning posters can be found below and also on the conference website along with all the other poster submissions. Congratulations to the winning posters and their presenters!

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