The use of simulation to teach clinical skills in obstetrics

Semin Perinatol. 2011 Apr;35(2):68-73. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2011.01.005.


Obstetrical practice demands sensitivity, clinical skill, and acumen. Obstetrical emergencies are rare occurrences and are most appropriately dealt with by experienced staff. Simulation provides an opportunity to gain this experience without patient risk and furthermore builds confidence and satisfaction amongst learners. There is an abundance of evidence to show the effectiveness of simulation training. Simulation has been demonstrated to reduce errors, increase knowledge, skills, communication and team working, and improve perinatal outcomes. Further research to measure the effect of training to identify what works, where and at what cost is needed. We explore the evidence for the use of simulation-based training across a broad range of obstetrical emergencies, promote collaboration amongst disciplines and discuss the formal introduction of simulation training into a curriculum. Reducing preventable harm in obstetrics is a priority for families and society at large and this article endeavors to highlight the role that simulation has to play.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics / education*
  • Obstetrics / methods
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Pregnancy