Having enough hospital experience to ‘think like a nurse’ and be confident upon graduation is a concern of most nursing students. What if there were a way to practice on patients without ever harming them, to ‘do over’ when results were not what were expected, and you could practice your growing critical thinking and patient care skills, even stopping time, so your teacher could help you figure it out at your own pace?
High fidelity simulation is changing nursing education in a radical way, by allowing the student to drive his/her educational experiences in a safe environment; one that does not pose the risks and hazards of an actual hospital environment.
Simulation is used to teach students how to manage basic patient care which becomes progressively more complex as students advance through the program. Simulation manikins are ‘moulaged’ to have the sights, sounds, and smells of real situations, such as bloody bowel movements, stab wounds, or vomit. In the capstone experience students will practice managing patients with complex problems such as cardiac arrest in preparation for patient care upon graduation.
Nurse educators work closely with students in debriefing to refine thinking skills and improve knowledge. Students work and support each other as teams, often changing roles to experience different aspects of patient care. Simulations are video-recorded so students can reflect on their actions and decisions afterward, and learn from them.