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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under MSCA-RISE grant agreement number 734753

My experience in Barcelona as a Marie Curie Fellow

Jody Stafford, Clinical Perfusionist, University Hospital of Wales


I learnt a huge amount. I was able to spend time both clinically within the cardiac surgery department but also within the University.

I have a keen interest in education, particularly MSc level and simulation. As a module lead for the MSc Perfusion Science at Bristol University it was useful for me to see the running of the MSc programmes and the Perfusion simulation sessions that form part of the Perfusion MSc in Spain. The whole secondment experience was positive but a few experiences stood out.


At the start of the secondment I attended a two day course on simulation education. This covered the theoretical aspects of simulation education, checklists for pre briefing, scenario design, practical sessions and debriefing.

The course itself was excellent but the thing that I was most impressed by (and shocked) was that the students were in fact faculty! This course was a ‘run through’ as preparation for the Medical Education MSc. This trial run was delivered to a diverse and experienced faculty from all levels of the organisation. The aim was not only to practice and cement knowledge but to debrief and develop so that the outcome is a superb course for the students the following year. This use of resources, time and faculty (approx 10) is completely unheard of to me, potentially due to both time and financial constraints. It has inspired me to run through future lessons/presentations with others and to receive feedback and develop before lecturing students.


Another valuable experience for me was to observe simulation sessions with Perfusion students as part of the Perfusion MSc in Barcelona. The facilities were phenomenal with high spec theatres and an expensive cardiopulmonary bypass simulator. However it wasn’t just the technology that impressed me; prior to the students arriving, the whole perfusion department (7) sat down and discussed the scenarios and all the possible outcomes. This pre-brief included Perfusionists that wouldn’t actually be at the teaching session due to clinical commitments. This thorough pre brief meant that the faculty involved were very clear on the scenarios. There were plans in place depending on the way the scenario developed. The students were able to make decisions as they would clinically and deal with the consequences. This is challenging for the students and faculty however an excellent opportunity to learn and deal with critical incidents.


The TALK tool is a fantastic resource for lots of clinical areas but personally I feel quite strongly that it’s use in cardiac surgery could make a difference. Incorporating clinical debriefing within cardiac surgery offers many advantages. TALK proposes an easy way to guide a constructive conversation between team members whenever new insights might be learnt from clinical experience. This includes cases where things went well but also near misses and untoward events.


Sharing this tool with others is vital. The TALK model will be delivered to Perfusion students UK wide as part of the MSc at Bristol University from January 2019. In addition I am presenting at the 18th European Conference on Perfusion Education & Training (October 2018). This presentation could lead to the TALK Clinical debriefing tool being disseminated to cardiac surgery departments across Europe. Perfusionists are often in a prime position; with a rounded situational awareness of the whole theatre to facilitate debriefing discussions.