SIM107 – Sim Physical and Psychological Safety

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: 06/07/2022

Next Review: 06/07/2025

Contact: Executive Director CHIPS

 901.448.4530

Related Policies:

SIM100 – Sim Confidentiality SIM104 – Sim Media Capture

SIM109 – Sim Equipment, Supplies- Separation


  1. Basic assumption: the belief that all participants in simulation are intelligent, well- trained, care about doing their best, and want 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/Facilitators and CHIPS staff should act in accordance with UTHSC Campus Safetyand 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. Basic assumption
    2. Suspension of disbelief
    3. Educational objectives
    4. Confidentiality and media capture policies
    5. Respectful communication and mutual support
    6. Orientation to simulation environment and equipment
    7. Safety phrase
  3. 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.
  4. Although CHIPS is primarily a latex-free facility, 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.
  5. In the event that a participant becomes psychologically uncomfortable or threatened by the simulation, the Faculty/Facilitators will:
    1. determine the appropriate course of action, including whether to continue or stop the simulation.
    2. If warranted, the participant’s emotional reaction to the simulation should be discussed in a private setting.
    3. A CHIPS Staff Director or Assistant Director should be notified.
    4. 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 AcademicSupport Services and Inclusion.
    5. Any non-UTHSC participant that incurs a psychological injury should inquire with their primary organization/employer for referral to a behavioral health assistant program orother resource as determined by the primary organization/employer.
    6. Faculty/Facilitators will be responsible for following up with the participants.
  6. In the event a participant’s physical safety is compromised, the Faculty/Facilitators will:
    1. Terminate the simulation.
    2. Activate the emergency medical response system, if warranted.
    3. Notify a CHIPS Staff Director or Assistant Director.
    4. Suggest any injured UTHSC participant to be evaluated by University Health Services.
    5. Suggest any injured non-UTHSC participant to inquire with their primary organization/employer for direction on injury evaluation.
    6. Ensure proper protocol is followed when filing a Campus Incident Report.
    7. Follow up with any injured participant if an evaluation occurs.


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

Approved: June 7, 2022, CASA

Approved: June 16, 2022 Chief Academic Officer

SIM107 – Sim Physical and Psychological Safety
Version: 2 // Effective: 01/15/2019
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Related Procedures: