High Fidelity Simulation has opened a frontier in experiential learning for the practice disciplines such as medicine and nursing because students can practice on ‘patients’ without harm. Simulation is conducted in a realistic environment to foster the transfer of skill acquisition to the clinical environment. Our School of Nursing Simulation Center has several high fidelity simulators; three adults, an adolescent, an infant, and a birthing simulator, Noelle, who actually delivers a baby. Our latest acquisition is SimManTM 3G, a fully wireless simulator, who even can ‘sweat’ on command.
Clayton State University School of Nursing is one of the first schools of nursing in Georgia to use cutting-edge simulation technology and state-of-the-art equipment and one of the few with a complete simulation lab. Simulation is integrated into the nursing program in clinical courses so that students have advantages of both actual patient care and simulation, and support of nurse educators.
Our Simulation Center includes real hospital equipment including IV pumps a ventilator, a defibrillator as well as various other diagnostic apparatus. There are functioning patient headwalls complete with oxygen, suction and medical air, and a ‘crash cart’ for codes. The School of Nursing also partners with the School of Arts and Sciences whose theater major students practice improvisation as patients, family members, or physicians with a goal of having the simulated environment as real as possible.
Simulation allows students to practice not only psycho-motor skills such as listening to heart sounds or taking a blood pressure, but thinking skills. Students evaluate their actions through video-debriefing of the simulation afterwards. Because the environment is so realistic students learn to cope with distractions, prioritize actions, and perform under pressure. Students often state, “It felt so real!” after simulation, and talk about the manikin as if it were a real patient.