This paper aims at evaluating the impact that has resulted from the use of simulated learning in nursing education. For the last few years, this learning technique has been adopted by most nursing schools, and thus it must have had several impacts which have attracted such high rate of acceptance in the sector.
The evaluation has been conducted by assessing past peer reviewed articles which have researched on the same issues. There is a broad range of these materials which have both standard and contrasting views. However, the most recent articles appear to document better results as they focus on longitudinal and randomized control reviews.
The result of this investigation has registered that simulated learning technique has led to improvement in nursing skills, self-confidence and self-efficacy, and the reduction of anxiety and stress among nursing students. Also, this learning method has been said to have other impacts like student's satisfaction, improved safety and error learning, interdisciplinary medical experience, and improved clinical judgment and decision making among nursing students. The paper has also given a personal view that this learning method has impacted on the nursing practice by producing well-prepared nurses into the industry, enhancing the use of technology, encouraging evidence-based learning, and supporting outcome-based education.
Simulation is a modern technological learning method used mainly in practical sciences. It involves both practical and theoretical learning, in which students, uses laboratory designed to mimic the real life situation of their respective fields of knowledge. In nursing, simulation has become a standard learning technique, where students practically use patients like dummies in a well-designed laboratory to mimic a hospital environment. Such learning method in the nursing education has had several impacts on the nursing students. The current paper thus aims at discussion some of the effects created by the simulation learning technique used in nursing schools.
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Improving the Students Medical Skills
According to Jansson et al., one of the significant impact of simulation in nurse education is the increase in student's skills on medical practices. In their study, they administered a randomized controlled trial which took a period of 24 months. The two main groups involved were the intervention group, which only relied on simulation practice and the control group which only used real life patients. It was observed that at the end of the experiment, the intervention group had gained skills estimated to be 12%. The measurement was done by use of structured interviews and questionnaires which revealed that those students using simulation were equally skilled like those using real patients.
The above observation was attributed to the importance of simulation learning as opposed to other types of learning. It was observed that this technique of teaching nursing education has three major effects which enhance new acquisition of skills. First, simulation mimic a real life situation in all perspective possible, and thus it give a lot of cognition value to the students. Such cognitive value ensures that students retain as much information as possible. The practice also has been regarded as effective because, unlike real-life practical or video learning, it presents more medical scenarios; thus students learns more. Lastly, the simulation learning method is regarded to have a psychomotor effect, and thus it enhances functional acquisition of skills.
Self-Confidence and Self-Efficacy
Simulation learning has also been applauded because it has been examined to increase self-confidence on students which in return, enhances their self-efficacy. Most students are not well prepared to care for the patients in the initial years of the nursing education. They are thus not confidence that they can manage to handle patients as required. However, when they use the simulation, such worries are eliminated as they can understand all necessary things required of them, not only theoretically, but also practically. The simulation thus increases their confidence in taking care of the patients, and such energy gives them more endurance when they start practicing nursing in the real life situation.
Confidence in nursing is always paramount as it determines the student's effectiveness. Those students that are more confidence in their learning are more likely to have better self-efficacy that those with less confidence. The acquired courage in simulation thus also enable nursing students to have more self-efficacy in their studies, as well as when they start practicing nursing in the real-life situation.
Reduction of Anxiety and Stress
In their analysis of simulation learning in nursing, observed that the practice has an added advantage over other technique because it reduces anxiety and stress in an efficient manner. Traditionally, the educator in the nursing sector used to use pictures and videos to teach students. Despite that these methods had their own merits, they, however, were poor in eliminating the anxiety and stress that emanates from handling patients.
Simulation learning, on the other hand, has emerged as an effective anxiety eliminator as it directly introduces students to real-life situations. The students become familiarized easily with the necessary procedure in the patient like set-up and thus they no longer feel anxious to deal with patients. The stress associated with making decisions and handling sensitive patient parts is also eliminated.
The student's satisfaction has also been examined to increase when they use the simulation learning technique. The above satisfaction has been associated with the nature of simulation laboratory which mimics the hospital setup. When students use this facility, they perceive that they are learning the actual things that they will practice in their future career. Such thinking thus makes them more satisfied with the simulation process. It is different from class learning where pictures and videos are used because those other learning methods do not mimic hospital environment and thus they are less believable.
Increase in Interdisciplinary Experience
Nurses are just one unit of the hospital professionals, and thus they must learn on how to associate with other professionals so as to work effectively in caring for patients. Most nursing schools, on the other hand, only deals with nursing education and thus other medical students are kept out. Such division in learning thus does not encourage interdisciplinary experiences.
However, the use of simulation learning has brought a lot of differences now. This learning technique requires that all medical professionals, like doctors, be included so as to mimic real life hospital environment. The mixing of different medical students and nursing students at these simulation class thus enables them to gain interdisciplinary experiences. Some of the new skills acquired at through this learning technique include teamwork, where nursing students are required to team up with others for better outcomes. Variable communication skills are also acquired as the nursing students learn how to interact with other professional and how to follow instructions given to them by the physicians. Lastly, collaboration and understanding are also enhanced as nurses learn how to collaborate with each other and also across professional so as to gain more understanding on certain issues.
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Impact on Nursing Safety and Errors
Another result of simulation learning is that it give students chance to study on the patient safety and the possible consequences in case of errors. The simulation laboratories are designed in a manner such that immediate feedback can be required. These experiments thus do not have chances of making a mistake; thus students are sharpened on how to be extra careful. The simulation process thus impacts positively on students by equipping them with the ability to handle patient safety efficiently.
However, the simulation also plays another role concerning patient safety; it empowers nursing students to experience the weight of their efforts if an error occurs. The simulation reacts based on the student's behavior; thus, if students act inappropriate, the process indicates the physical damages that can occur to a patient. Students thus can acquire the feedback immediately by physical seeing the dangers of errors in the nursing practice thus learning why they should avoid them.
Impact on Clinical Learning Judgment and Decision Making
The simulation learning also has an effect on the student judgment and decision making on clinical issues. In this learning technique, students learn by mistake, and thus students are equipped on how to make valid interpretations on the clinical issue that they encounter. They are also prepared on how to make decisions through critical thinking when handling the simulators. The students are thus well equipped when they join the nursing practice in the hospitals and thus they do not make poor judgments on clinical issues or making wrong decisions.
Personal Reflections on How Simulation Learning Impacts Nursing Practice
Personally, I believe that simulation learning has had several positive effects on the nursing practice, especially during the learning process. First, it impacts on the overall practice of nursing by producing nurses that are competent and better prepared in the modern clinical environments. Simulators usually mimic the hospital environment and thus nurses who learn using this technique are more likely to be very competent when they join the real world practices.
The simulation learning method is also suitable because it is encouraging outcome-based as opposed to process-based learning. I find that when in the simulation laboratory, the main thing that we as student focus on is positive outcomes. This is a good impact which goes against theoretical learning which empathizes on the process without showing students how to attain the desired results.
This technique of learning has also influenced the nursing practice by encouraging evidence-based education. Nurses are most likely to be successful in their future career if they were taught based on observable evidence rather than evidence demonstrated on pictures or videos. And because simulation learning encourages practical, then it is the best way of ensuring future better nurses.
Finally, I also think that simulation nursing is also impacting the nursing practice through the technology. When using this technique, it is apparent that all students are exposed to the technological world in modern medicine. They thus develop a culture of consolidating new technologies in their activities; hence, in future nursing practice, there are more likely to show more preferences to technological process.
In conclusion, the above exegesis has reviewed some of the impacts developed by the simulation learning technique used in nursing schools. It has been revealed that this learning method has resulted in improvement in skills, self-confidence and self-efficacy, and the reduction of anxiety and stress among nursing students. Other impacts include student's satisfaction, improved safety and error learning, interdisciplinary medical experience, and improved clinical judgment and decision making among nursing student. The paper has concluded by a personal view that this learning method has reshaped nursing practice by producing well-prepared nurses into the industry, by enhancing the use of technology, encouraging evidence-based learning, and promoting outcome-based education.