Simulation in education

High fidelity simulation has been used in nursing education for many years. These computerized mannequins allow the participant to hear heart sounds, breath sounds, bowel sounds, and feel pulses. An operator is the voice of the patient and can relate any concerns. The participant is able to see how the mannequin responds to their interventions, as patient status may change as a result. Currently, most literature is focused on having a student complete a specific learning situation, focusing on a specific goal for the scenario. This can relate to a learning situation in which an IV medication needs to be given or a checklist needs to be completed. I feel that if we are truly trying to simulate the “real world” we should be making use of a multi-patient scenario in which the student will need to assess, diagnose, plan, implement and evaluate for several patients with complex needs. Communication, delegation and time management will be the focus of the scenario.

As with any simulation, much of the learning will occur during the debriefing process. This will be the opportunity to discuss what went well, if anything could be done differently by focusing on theory and how it was put into practice. As with any simulated experience, the scenario would take about 20 minutes with debriefing lasting an hour give or take.

Here is an example of a simulated experience- it is a good example of the process and the nerves that may arise for the participants.

In the spirit of Sharism, I am excited to read your thoughts on the use of multi-patient scenario.


2 thoughts on “Simulation in education

  1. Good question Shauna.
    My initial thought would be to go back to what our goals are for simulated learning and to ask if this is this the best environment for teaching students how to multi-task? Given that no two days in nursing will ever be the same, with the same cast of characters (patients and staff) – I’m not convinced that this would be where simulation would shine most brightly.

  2. Prioritization is a huge piece of critical thinking or clinical decision making and this is the challenge that the multi-patient scenario would present. Practicing the communication of delegation prior to a real-life situation would, I believe, increase students’ self-efficacy for delegation. I think you’re onto something here.

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