UW SON Simulation Center

Learn More About Simulation

The University of Washington School of Nursing Simulation Center follows the Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best Practice when planning, designing, and implementing clinical simulation experiences for students. The Standards are evidenced-based and updated regularly to reflect the most current research in simulation education.

Simulation Terminology

​​​​​​​Simulation: In 2004, when talking about the future of simulation healthcare, David Gaba described simulation as “… a technique—not a technology—to replace or amplify real experiences with guided experiences that evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world in fully interactive manner.”

​Simulation is a training modality that creates a safe, interactive clinical environment that can be used for learning, evaluation, testing processes, research, and other activities.

Skills Training: Skills training is different from simulation as it is focused primarily on learning, practicing, and assessing psychomotor (and some communication) skills. It is rarely interactive, that is there are no consequences as a result of the actions of the participant. Participants may receive feedback and evaluation based on their performance.

Fidelity: ​Fidelity refers to the level of realism associated with a particular simulation activity. Low-Fidelity may mean a lower level of realism, whereas high-fidelity create a very realistic situation for the participant to experience. Fidelity may be physical, emotional/psychological, environment, and conceptual.

Human Patient Simulators (“SimMan”): ​Human Patient Simulators are full-body manikins that have a variety of capabilities. High-fidelity simulators are able to mimic many human functions, such as breathing, blinking, and speaking and they have pulses and heart, lung and abdominal sounds. Low-fidelity simulators have less function but can be used as full-body skills trainers.

Task Trainer: ​Task trainers are anatomical models that are designed for the training of specific skills or procedures. They may have added features, such as blood or other fluids, or visual or auditory cues to provide feedback on the skills performed. Ultrasound task trainers are designed to be used with real ultrasound transducers and present typical anatomy and landmarks, and some abnormal findings depending on the trainer.

Moulage: ​The use of a variety of substances- props, make up and medical supplies- to create a realistic patient condition and appearance such as an injury, wounds, medical condition, or use of a medical device.

Additional definitions from the SSIH (Society for Simulation in Healthcare) Dictionary can be found by clicking here.