Simulation training is a well recognised educational tool for healthcare professionals. It is increasingly commonplace and advances in technology have led to a wide diversity of training methods. It allows clinicians to practice high risk, low frequency events in a safe and controlled environment.

Mobile simulation can be defined as ‘simulation training that occurs outside the Simulation Centre’. This can include training done ‘in the field’ or ‘in-situ’.

In-situ simulation training occurs at the point where healthcare is provided, using normal workplace equipment. Participants act in their normal roles, during normal working hours, which is thought to enhance realism and validity, and may decrease the anxiety that some clinicians associate with traditional simulation training.

Training at the point of care has many other benefits:RPA ICU Scenario

  • participants train with their colleagues in ‘intact teams’
  • training occurs in the normal working environment, using familiar equipment
  • it is low cost and simple to set up – the equipment is already there!
  • it can be planned or ‘ad-hoc’
  • participants don’t need to leave the workplace or pay for expensive courses

This type of training is suitable for many environments: the ICU, emergency department, theatres, the recovery room, delivery suite, the wards, hospital corridors, the car park and pre-hospital settings to name but a few….

mobilesim is a resource for anyone involved in medical simulation occurring outside the comfort of the Sim Centre. It was born of the Severn Mobile Simulation Group, which I set up with Dr Sara Cook in 2010 to provide a standardised approach to in-situ simulation in ICUs across the Severn Region of the UK. Like its owner, mobilesim is now based in Australia..

The principles of mobilesim are:Mobilesim

  • It is done during the working day, usually in the workplace
  • It is interdisciplinary
  • It can be done ‘on-the fly’
  • It can be done on the cheap
  • It aims to deliver the same quality learning as traditional sim training
  • It is flexible

I have used these principles to set up successful in-situ mobilesim programs in two ICUs, and I am about to embark on a third…

I don’t mean to gloat, but at Royal Prince Alfred ICU in Sydney we trained over 500 doctors and nurses in 2 years, with pretty darn good feedback. With a bit of hard work, a bit of funding and a good imagination, you can achieve the same.

Please feel free to use any of the resources on this site, and feel free to share yours!

Jon Gatward


Intensivist, sim trainer, ex-anaesthetist airway educator, quality and safety guru.

Listen to my talk from SMACC 2014, entitled ‘Gadgets and Simulation’, courtesy of intensivecarenetwork.com

Gadgets and Sim

Listen to my talk on mobilesim (aka Guerilla Sim!) from SMACC 2013, courtesy of intensivecarenetwork.com

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 1.57.11 am

And here’s the slides from the mobilesim session at the Education workshop SMACC 14….

Sim Savvy