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Keyboard and Mouse

June 2021

Almost back to normal


With low numbers of COVID-19 infections in the community and a vaccination program well underway in the health sector, things are returning to normal.  We are increasing our course capacity back to our usual numbers, although still maintaining the stringent cleaning and social distancing policies implemented for staff and participant safety.  

This has meant that we have been able to launch four new anaesthetic immersive courses:


We have also  been able to increase the number of EMAC places for the remainder of 2021, hopefully easing the stress for finishing fellows who were worried about accessing a course.

New Anaesthetic Simulation Fellow position 2022

The SCSSC in collaboration with the Royal North Shore Hospital Anaesthetic Department are very excited to be offering a fellow role across both departments.  This position is 50% clinical and 50% simulation education and will join our long established and accredited Emergency and ICU fellowship roles. 


As providers of the ANZCA accredited Emergency Management of Anaesthetic Crisis (EMAC) course, several one day anaesthesia specialty stream courses and a variety of other interprofessional and interdisciplinary courses the SCSSC simulation fellowship provides a broad based simulation education experience.  Onsite staff specialists in anaesthesia and emergency medicine as well as highly skilled simulation educators and technicians support the fellow's learning journey which includes understanding and running the technology, designing and delivering simulation scenarios and developing skills in debriefing.  By the end of the 12 month fellowship our fellows are well placed to develop, deliver and potentially lead workplace simulation programs.  


Look out for the advertisement for the upcoming vacancies for Royal North Shore Hospital Anaesthesia Department, 2022.


Adam Rehak receives prestigious award

Adam Rehak, lead of our Anaesthetic stream received the prestigious Steuart Henderson Award at the 2021 Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists' Annual General Meeting. The honour is awarded to a fellow who has demonstrated excellence and provided outstanding contribution, scholarship, and mentorship to medical education in the field of anaesthesia and/or pain medicine. The following is an excerpt from his nomination by Gerri Khong, also here on staff.

Adam has been strongly involved in clinical simulation and education since completing his Fellowship in 2006 at Royal North Shore Hospital as the Simulation Fellow. He has been a Staff Specialist at Sydney Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre (SCSSC) since obtaining his FANZCA and is currently the lead in the anaesthesia stream of courses. Adam was the centre’s Supervisor of EMAC from 2007 – 2018, and continues to instruct here as one of SCSSC’s most experienced instructors. He has also played a significant role in the evolution of the EMAC curriculum as a co-author in the revision of both the Airway and Trauma modules.


Adam has also developed and run numerous other anaesthesia courses including a difficult airway course which focuses on human factors and decision-making in difficult airway management. The creation of new educational programs is an aspect of simulation and education that Adam finds particularly rewarding, and one that he continues to be heavily involved in.


Adam has also made a significant contribution in shaping our current understanding of best practice in airway management. This includes co-authoring the 2014 ANZCA report Transition from supraglottic to infraglottic rescue in “can’t intubate can’t oxygenate” (CICO) scenarios which subsequently formed the basis for the ANZCA professional document PS61-BP. He was a key member of the Safe Airway Society working group which published the widely endorsed statement on airway management and intubation in Covid-19 patients.


Adam has also been a member of the EMAC subcommittee since 2014, and is a co-opted member of the ANZCA Airway SIG. Adam has previously been a member of the Education and Simulation SIG executives. Adam is also one of the founding members of the Safe Airway Society.


Despite his busy non-clinical and clinical schedule, Adam has always been generous with his time in providing support to colleagues. He held with the utmost regard by both anaesthetic and non-anaesthetic colleagues -  this is reflected in his guidance being regularly sought on challenging clinical cases as well as issues relating to human factors and communication. Adam has a reputation for treating people with honesty and integrity, and for his ability to offer insightful observations and pragmatic advice.


Adam is the type of anaesthetist you want there before the crisis, during the crisis and after the crisis. The respect he garners is not only related to his high level of technical skills and knowledge in education, debriefing, human factors and trauma management but also the humility and respect in his communication with others. He is is an inspirational mentor and role model to trainees and consultants alike. It is for these reasons that Adam embodies the values of the Steuart Henderson award.


As colleagues here at the SCSSC, we are very proud to have Adam as part of our team.  Well done Adam!


Want to take your debriefing skills to the next level?

Whilst our Comprehensive Simulation Instructor Training remains very popular, we know that many of you want to improve your debriefing skills.  Debriefing is a skill which can be challenging to master unless you are doing it regularly and receiving feedback to enable reflection and improvement.


Difficult debriefings, although not common, can fill us with dread and post debrief regret.  Managing these situations is a learned skill and we have some strategies which can help in these difficult situations. With these challenges in mind we have developed an Advanced Debriefing Course which will be launched on November 30th, 2020.  This one day course will be led by our senior educators Leonie Watterson, Adam Rehak and Stephanie O'Regan with support from our team. We will be covering advanced questioning techniques,  working with a co-debriefer and debriefing the less concrete area of human factors.  And of course these debriefing skills translate to practice with supervisory and other potentially difficult conversations.

Like always our course is hands on and there will be plenty of opportunities for you to practice in small groups with contextualised scenarios and our team of skilled actors. 


Registrations for the November 30th, 2021 course are now open.


Virtual Simulation Instructor Training

zoom setup.jpg

April saw us set up what seemed to be a small television studio so we could run a 2 day virtual simulation instructor workshop for the University of Sydney Masters of Critical Care students enrolled in the Teaching with Simulation subject.  While we have run this workshop many times, we had never done it virtually.  

New talents within the team emerged.  Ahilan Parameswaran turned out to be a bit of a tech guru, though we should have guessed this based on his colour changing LED mousepad.  He and Sarah Doran (our sim tech) set up multiple computers, cameras, microphones,  and lights to ensure the best audiovisual experience for the learners.  Ahilan then manned the technology over the two days, troubleshooting on the fly.  It was very comforting for the rest of us having him there so we could concentrate on delivering the workshop content.


The biggest concern for us was how do we ensure the students receive the same or near to same level of engagement in the immersive activities, particularly around debriefing practice.  Our small breakouts worked a treat and whilst for us it may not have been as easy as a face to face workshop, we still felt we managed to connect with the learners. The cognitive workload for us was I think at a similar magnitude to that for learners.   On the flip side learners appreciated not having to travel, take extended time off work and reported they had a really great engaging, learning experience.  With our success here we will consider running future courses in our virtual lab.

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