SIM107 – Sim Physical and Psychological Safety

No./Title: SIM107 – Sim Physical and Psychological Safety

Resp. Office: CHIPS

Approval Body: CASA

Effective Date: 01/15/2019

Category: Simulation

Last Review: 01/15/2019

Next Review: 01/15/2022

Contact: Chad Epps, Executive Director CHIPS

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SIM100 – Sim Confidentiality

SIM104 – Sim Media Capture


  1. Basic assumption: the belief that all participants in simulation are intelligent, well-trained, cares about doing their best, and wants to improve.
  2. Participants: anyone involved in or observers of simulation activity (e.g., students, learners, educators, instructors, faculty, staff, or observers)
  3. Safe learning environment: a learning environment where it is clarified that learners feel physically and psychologically safe to make decisions, take actions, and interact in the simulation.
  4. Safety phrase: A phrase agreed upon by participants prior to initiation of the simulation that indicates a true emergency has occurred or is occurring that requires attention. A generally accepted safety phrase is “This is not a simulation” which terminates the simulation for the reasons of physical and/or psychological safety.
  5. Simulation Faculty/Facilitators [referred to in this document simply as “Faculty/Facilitators”]: Any person meeting minimum simulation competencies, as determined by the Director of Education, who is associated with the delivery and/or planning of the simulation activity
  6. Standard Precautions: minimum infection prevention practices that apply to all patient care, in any setting where health care is delivered.


CHIPS is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all participants. Because the nature of simulation can pose physical and/or psychological risks to participants, Faculty/Facilitators are expected to follow appropriate procedures and best practices to ensure the participants are as safe, both physically and psychologically, as possible.


  1. Faculty/Facilitator and CHIPS staff should act in accordance with UTHSC Campus Safety and Emergency Management initiatives which can be found here:
  2. Faculty/Facilitators are responsible for an effective pre-brief which includes, at a minimum, the following elements:
    1. Describe the basic assumption.
    2. Encourage participants to suspend disbelief.
    3. Ensure participants are aware of educational objectives.
    4. Ensure participants are aware of confidentiality and media capture policies.
    5. Encourage participants to use respectful communication and mutual support.
    6. Properly orient participants to the simulation environment.
    7. Ensure participants are aware of the safety phrase.
  3. Faculty/Facilitators for educational and formative assessment activities should follow best practices to ensure a safe learning environment.
  4. In the event that a participant becomes uncomfortable or threatened by the simulation, the Faculty/Facilitators will determine the appropriate course of action including whether to continue or stop the simulation.
  5. In the event a participant’s physical or psychological safety is compromised, the Faculty/Facilitators:
    1. The simulation should be terminated.
    2. If warranted, the emergency medical response system should be activated.
    3. If warranted, the participant’s emotional reaction to the simulation should be discussed in a private setting.
    4. A CHIPS Staff Director or Assistant Director should be notified.
    5. Faculty/Facilitators will be responsible for following up with the participants.
  6. CHIPS does not accommodate activity that requires animal tissue. These activities should be referred to the General Education Building (GEB).
  7. Hand hygiene and Sharps safety, as described by the Center for Disease Control’s Standard Precautions, should always be practiced. At the discretion of the Faculty/Facilitator, participants may be required to practice additional standard precautions.
  8. Any participants with known latex allergies should disclose to the Faculty/Facilitator. When this occurs, the Faculty/Facilitator should work with CHIPS staff to ensure there is no risk of latex exposure.
  9. Any UTHSC participant that incurs a physical injury should be evaluated by University Health Services.
  10. Any non-UTHSC participant that incurs a physical injury should inquire with their primary organization/employer for direction.
  11. Any UTHSC participant that incurs a psychological injury should be referred to University Health Services or, in the case of students, the Office of Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion.
  12. Any non-UTHSC participant that incurs a psychological injury should inquire with their primary organization/employer for referral to a behavioral health assistant program or other resource as determined by the primary organization/employer.


Effective: January 15, 2019, Committee on Academic and Student Affairs (CASA)

Approved: January 15, 2019, Chancellor

SIM107 – Sim Physical and Psychological Safety
Version: 1 // Effective: 01/15/2019
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