Every semester our students run through a simulation similar to the one shown in the video. As the Academic Technology Coordinator working with the Simulation Lab Coordinator, I enjoy the comfort of being on the observation side of the simulations. Though low-stakes for me, it was a little gut-wrenching going through the simulation…and I had the benefit of knowing what was going to happen in the scenario. The students really have no clue what they are going to run into. I can empathize with the stress of the unknown, but we put it to the extreme in this simulation. On the other hand, we are looking to create a high-stakes environment. As nurses walk into work each day, they never truly know what is going to happen behind those doors.
Fear of the unknown and anxiety were big take aways, but the biggest take away I received from this experiment was the realization of how much of a better job we need to do to make the simulation more realistic. The video made me think even stronger about standardized patients (live actors portraying a patient). Actors cannot be used to practice all nursing skills, but most of our simulations center around therapeutic communication and this would be a perfect subject area to use actors.
Room in the curriculum for simulation is growing in the nursing field and we have a huge opportunity to use simulation to enrich the education of our students. The big question now is, “how do we establish a plan to design cutting-edge simulations that are realistic and meet the needs of our soon to be bachelor-prepared nurses?”