For many people, our concept of medical emergency procedures is informed by a lifetime of consuming television medical dramas. For anesthetists and medical staff, though, the emergency sim ward offers the most realistic insight into an emergency procedure, as Teresa Crea discovers.

Medical simulation—the re-enactment of a medical event—often makes use of a synthetic mannequin to represent a live patient, or a mix of live actors and mannequins.

It is a common training tool, offering novices and experienced clinicians an opportunity to reason through a clinical problem, and test their responses in a way that is much cheaper and much safer than working on real patients. A simulation laboratory is set up, for all intents and purposes, as a 'real life' operating theatre.

The objects and medical instruments, the configuration of the work stations and the capacity of the clinician to physically navigate and function within that environment serve to create a perceptual fidelity—so much so that the participant anaesthetist is fully immersed and present in the situation at hand.

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