Wearing hats and blending boundaries: harmonising professional identities for clinician simulation educators

William Dace, Eve Purdy, Victoria Brazil

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Many clinicians working in healthcare simulation struggle with competing dual identities of clinician and educator, whilst those who harmonise these identities are observed to be highly effective teachers and clinicians. Professional identity formation (PIF) theories offer a conceptual framework for considering this dilemma. However, many clinician simulation educators lack practical guidance for translating these theories and are unable to develop or align their dual identities.An unusual experience involving the first author's suspension of disbelief as a simulation facilitator sparked a novel reflection on his dual identity as a clinician and as a simulation educator. He re-framed his clinician and simulation 'hats' as cooperative and fluid rather than competing and compartmentalised. He recognised that these dual identities could flow between clinical and simulation environments through leaky 'blended boundaries' rather than being restricted by environmental demarcations.This personal story is shared and reflected upon to offer a practical 'hats and boundaries' model. Experimenting with the model in both clinical and simulation workplaces presents opportunities for PIF and alignment of dual identities. The model may help other clinician simulation educators navigate the complexities of merging their dual identities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalAdvances in Simulation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2022


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