The experiential learning process involves participation in key experiences and analysis of those experiences. In health care, these experiences can occur through high-fidelity simulation or in the actual clinical setting. The most important component of this process is the postexperience analysis or debriefing. During the debriefing, individuals must reflect upon the experience, identify the mental models that led to behaviors or cognitive processes, and then build or enhance new mental models to be used in future experiences. On the basis of adult learning theory, the Kolb Experiential Learning Cycle, and the Learning Outcomes Model, we structured a framework for facilitators of debriefings entitled "the 3D Model of Debriefing: Defusing, Discovering, and Deepening." It incorporates common phases prevalent in the debriefing literature, including description of and reactions to the experience, analysis of behaviors, and application or synthesis of new knowledge into clinical practice. It can be used to enhance learning after real or simulated events.
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