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Improve cultural competence with simulation

Use Simulation-based Training to Reduce Health Disparities and Improve Patient Care

As the patient population grows and becomes more diverse, healthcare providers must be prepared to treat patients of all backgrounds and provide culturally responsible care. Simulation training is often celebrated for the opportunity it creates for participants to assess, diagnose and treat a patient from beginning to end. By adding to a simulation real-world demographics, including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, and geographical location, the patient interaction is made even more realistic.

Many of Laerdal’s versatile task trainers, manikins, and patient simulators are available in a range of skin tones that reflect the diversity of real patients. Using a variety of solutions can enhance the realism of a scenario, while reinforcing the impact of cultural characteristics on a patient’s care.

Incorporate Real-World Examples into Your Simulations

Orient your simulation scenarios around patient groups that face negative health outcomes. Focus on areas where there is the most room for improvement.  Below are just a few examples:

  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities
  • Gender Disparities
  • Socioeconomic Disparities
  • Pre-programmed Scenarios

Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Multiple studies have shown that pain is often undertreated in Black expectant and new mothers. Explore that phenomenon through a simulated experience: A 34-year old Black woman returns to the hospital 3-weeks postpartum after a high-risk pregnancy battling a clotting disorder and high blood pressure. She had a C-section birth and is suffering a painful hematoma at her incision and has also been suffering headaches, blurred vision, and swelling legs.


Gender Disparities

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S. While male symptoms are more well-known, women can sometimes exhibit no symptoms at all. Simulate a middle-aged White woman reporting pain in the jaw and throat as well as nausea.


Socioeconomic Disparities

Often, Socioeconomic status (SES) is interpreted through appearances alone. One way to shine a light on the learners’ implicit biases is to run the same simulation two times – once with a low-SES homeless man and once with a high-SES businessman.


Pre-programmed Scenarios

Find hundreds of clinical scenarios available on Laerdal Scenario Cloud

Expand your curriculum with a selection of high-quality, expert-validated scenarios from Laerdal and partners. All available for your entire organization - with just one single license. Learn More

Download E-book

Interested in more ways simulation can help to reduce implicit bias and mitigate risk to patients of diverse backgrounds? In our new E-Book, we share more examples of simulation scenarios that can bring an awareness to a patient’s cultural characteristics – and other helpful planning tools.

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