During my anesthesia training, instructors would often compare the complexities of administering sedation to learning how to fly a plane. Anesthesia providers, like their pilot counterparts, undergo rigorous training. They must complete a minimum number of clinical hours before sitting behind the controls of an anesthesia machine. Even after flying solo in surgery, they still log numerous hours learning how to improve patient care and manage potentially life-threatening situations.
Despite this comprehensive on-the-job training, anesthesia providers must constantly run through response protocols for infrequently occurring clinical scenarios that could end in dire consequences — unsuccessful intubations or ventilations, airway fires, the sudden onset of malignant hyperthermia and the patient coding during surgery — if providers are unprepared to handle them quickly and effectively.
Enter simulation training. It's used to mimic real-life events to improve patient safety and quality of care by ensuring anesthesia providers are prepared to handle whatever high-pressure, high-consequence situation they encounter.