The Participants go through the simulation case (Experience) and develop an Impact from the experience. During the debriefing they Recollect the impact, and Report upon it. Although reflection often happens regardless, debriefing allows the Facilitator to organize the reflection in a productive manner.
Think of the last resuscitation that you felt was botched up. You probably reflected on it alone, hopefully not in the local bar. Your reflections may have been scattered and perhaps included unproductive self-criticisms that didn’t aid learning. Compare that to your last simulation session where there was a useful structured reflection with a facilitator, learning points were discussed, and hopefully lessons were retained for a longer period.
Ultimately the goal of debriefing is to engage in a conversation where learning happens. It is an open format for discussion of the events that occurred, how we felt about it, and understanding the thought processes. It allows for identifying areas where perhaps knowledge or skill was missing so that it can be corrected in the future. So maybe debriefing is a little touchy-feely, but what’s wrong with a little human contact?!
The purpose of this post was to discuss what is debriefing; future posts will discuss why we debrief. I would love your thoughts on this subject. Please feel free to discuss!
Thanks to Dr. Stella Yiu and Dr. Javier Benitez for letting us know about Dr. Hart's and Dr. Ernest Wang's videos on Debriefing, respectively