New blogger Jennifer Thew, RN, takes a look at simulated patient technology, and asks: Does it really work?
If you think about it, Groundhog Day is a lot like the use of simulation technology in nursing education. The goal of simulation is to provide nursing students with realistic patient care experiences without real patients. Educators can program high-fidelity mannequins like Laerdal’s SimMan to replicate scenarios like a respiratory arrest or a cardiac event. Their SimMom can even give birth.
Through these simulation experiences, nursing students can practice their clinical and critical thinking skills. If a mistake is made, say you make a choice that kills your ‘patient,’ no harm comes to any actual human beings. After students run through a scenario, educators will often hold a debriefing where they discuss what was done, what could be done better and what was done right. Students get to learn from their mistakes and hone their critical thinking skills. At least that’s the hope of those using simulation in nursing education.