TechnologyApplication in Nursing and Patient Education
TechnologyApplication in Nursing and Patient Education
Engineeringinstructors simulate airplane landing in a classroom environment.Nursing education increasingly embrace simulation. Nursing schoolsand caregiving institutions are increasing adopting simulationinstruction as an instructional approach and competency-basedevaluation technique. The global shortage of caregivers and nursesbaked with scare clinical placements implies that nursing isincreasingly turning out as an important undergraduate profession(Ezz, Loureiro-Koechlin & Stergioulas, 2012). To prepare nursinglearners sufficiently for clinical practice and procedures, educationinstitutions are required to put in place advanced and effectivetechniques for nurse and patient education delivery (Weaver, 2011).
Moreover,there has emerged a clinical-based ethical moral for institutions ofhigher learning to adequately prepare their learners for clinicalplacement and limit the traditional “patient as practice”approach of the past (Ezz, Loureiro-Koechlin & Stergioulas,2012). The application of simulation in nurse and patient educationhas made an advanced step in meeting some of these needs. This paperexplores the application of simulation in nurse and patienteducation, focusing more on its advantages and disadvantages.
Innurse and patient education, the concept of simulation can beconceptualized as a certain activity that tries to emulate, withoutactually replicating an actual world environment, with the objectiveof learning in a secure, regulated setting (Weiner et al., 2012).There are numerous types of simulations applied instruction, not onlyin the field of nursing but also in other practical disciplines suchas medicine, engineering, and military. Studies documentingsimulation applications tend to view these by their fidelity. Highfidelity entails those applications with the capability to reproducelife incidences accurately with, for example, a computerized manikin,formatted to offer audio and visual cues, along with feedback, basedon the learner or patient response (Singh et al., 2012). Highfidelity simulations are computerized applications that can simulateactual events in life.
Weineret al. (2012) describes a distinct simulation application in whichthey employed a variety of simulation components and include humanand computer to instruct clinical diagnosis and design effective careplans. Recent evidence supports the use of simulation to instruct avariety of nursing skills to nurse students. These skills includeresponding to emergency situations, delivery critical care, enhancingmaternity caregiving, facilitating informed decision-makingprocesses, and resuscitating patients with cardio-pulmonary relapses,among others (Ezz, Loureiro-Koechlin & Stergioulas, 2012). Theseare considerably technical skills that nursing students andespecially patients may not understand easily.
Advantagesof Simulation in Nurse and Patient Education
Simulationtechnology in nursing and patient education is invaluable (Weiner etal., 2012). It boosts students’ confidence. It offers nursingstudents as well as patients with guided learning experiencesenhanced with an interactive learner-centered instructional setting.As a consequent, the learners become more confident when theyencounter these simulations in real life circumstances. Singh et al.(2012) opine that the application of this has enabled nursingstudents to revamp their level of confidence with the wide scope oftheir practice as it helps them sharpen their clinical and criticalthinking skills. They further add that the use of simulation hasboosted learners’ decision-making, thus enabling them confident tomake accurate and well-informed decisions (Weaver, 2011). Althoughsimulation does not substitute all nursing experiences, it provideslearners the opportunity to practice fundamental skills andevaluations and to acquire confidence in diverse situations.
Besidesacquiring advanced skills, simulation enables students to lower theprobability of patient incidence coupled with enhancing patientsafety during their actual clinical practice (Weiner et al., 2012).Simulators can be employed as an effective strategy for instructingand illustrating concepts that allow errors and mistakes, but limitedharm to a patient will happen. Feedback from this course is a vitalcomponent to enable learners to reflect their practice, and theapplication of the feedback to learning promotes autonomy anddevelops the foundation of learning critical and nursing skills forthe learner. The acquired skills are vital for future patient care,besides guaranteeing patient safety when put into practice (Singh etal., 2012).
Moreover,simulation prepares students adequately to face real life situations(Weaver, 2011). Through learning by experience and being studentcentered, simulation suits the nature of clinical education andstudents’ needs. Particularly in the contemporary healthcareenvironment, nursing students and patients need to be sufficientlyprepared in schools before entering clinical placements as well asreal life nursing patient situations. For most of students in thisfield, stepping into a clinical climate may turn out to be theirfirst handling and taking care for other individuals (Weiner et al.,2012). Simulation application allows faculty to develop realisticcare delivery setting where active learning can take place withlimited to no risk to patient safety (Singh et al., 2012). Also,learning can be customized to meet particular needs of students andallows review of errors, enabling students to learn from them in apositive way (Weaver, 2012). As diverse clinical circumstances arefold, learners are enriched with myriad learning experiences focusingon their established learning needs.
Further,simulation promotes the acquisition of technical skills, helps thedevelopment of clinical judgment, and instructs learners aboutcomplex nursing situations baked with real life examples (Ezz,Loureiro-Koechlin & Stergioulas, 2012). Also, research indicatesthat students tend to retain longer didactic experience acquired fromsimulation compared to knowledge acquired from lectures (Weaver,2011). Also, Weiner et al. (2012) note that simulation enablesstudents to acquire skills faster than conventional classroomlearning, offers a deeper comprehension of topics, involves learnersin various roles, and introduces new aspects of clinical and criticalthinking. It integrates competency-based practice and studentteaching (Weaver, 2012).
Asopposed to the traditional class theoretical learning, simulationoffers students with a practical experience and involves them in allthe technical process critical to learning. In such a circumstance,the system exposes learners to a valuable experience they may notattain in clinical rotations. It is in light of the words the greatphilosopher, Confucius, who said that, “Tell me and I will forget.Show me, and I may recall. Involve me, and I will understand.”
Despiteits increasing application in nurse and patient education, simulationfeatures some limitations. The most significant challenge ofsimulation is their high cost. This technology is relativelyexpensive, thus few medical institutions and schools can access them.Given the rapid enrollment of undergraduate students in nursingprofession coupled with the increasing health care needs, access tosimulation facilities become scarce (Ezz, Loureiro-Koechlin &Stergioulas, 2012). Further, the use of this technology dependslargely on the availability of experts and human operators. Settingup the clinical laboratory to instruct learners with this system maybe beyond the capability of typical teachers, hence, necessitatingexperienced personnel. This is another limitation as human operatorsmay be expensive to acquire and maintain an issue that raises thecost of using the technology. Also, as learners progress through theinstruction, simulation becomes increasingly difficult to instructhigher-level skills and experiences (Weaver, 2012). Additionally,some simulation is not real and has low fidelity as it does not offerrealistic human interaction (Weiner et al., 2012).
Ezz,I., Loureiro-Koechlin, C., & Stergioulas, L. (2012, December). Aninvestigation of the use of simulation tools in management education.In Simulation Conference (WSC), Proceedings of the 2012 Winter (pp.1-14). IEEE.
Singh,R., Sharman, R., Anderson, D., Singh, A., & Singh, G. (2012,March). Healthcare simulation for excellence in in-patient safety. InProceedings of the 2012 Symposium on Emerging Applications of M&Sin Industry and Academia Symposium (p. 11). Society for ComputerSimulation International.
Weaver,A. (2011). High-fidelity patient simulation in nursing education: Anintegrative review. Nursing Education Perspectives, 32(1), 37-40.
Weiner,E. E., Elasy, T., Lorenzi, N. M., McNew, R., Shackleford, L., Wolff,K., … & Benson, C. (2012). Extending nurse practitioner careusing the virtual reality world of second life. In NI 2012:Proceedings of the 11th International Congress on Nursing Informatics(Vol. 2012). American Medical Informatics Association.