Interactive Nursing Simulations Help Students Learn in Unique Ways During COVID-19

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The Endicott School of Nursing faculty and staff knew that with remote learning, some of the clinical hours of their nursing students would be affected. Because of this and their commitment to the active learning needs of their students, they went right to work to put a plan into action to create virtual scenarios that could be delivered remotely to students and would replicate their clinical training hours.
Associate Dean of the School of Nursing, Amy Smith, DNP, MSN, CNM, RN, spearheaded the creation of multiple video scenarios that would be recorded to simulate what may happen at clinical and be used to replace those hours students would typically spend at various healthcare facilities. These scenarios provide an engaging virtual clinical experience that is then debriefed with faculty in small groups online.  The deans and nursing faculty, along with their families, acted as patients in the different scenarios which range from acute care at a hospital, at-home visits with elderly patients, new mother and baby care, and a new COVID-19 case.

Every scenario is unique and teaches students how to assess and treat patients in situations such as an unsafe living environment, taking care of a diabetic school-aged child, or performing a home visit for a newborn check-up. Students are asked what interventions they would use in each situation, if they would change the course of care and prioritize differently, and what they would need to properly care for these patients.  “Our goal was to engage the student with clinical vignettes that build on classroom content and through debriefing, increase knowledge and understanding.  By using faculty, staff and their families, students had a special connection to these learning experiences,” says Smith. 
“Faculty took starring roles in these virtual clinical experiences in hopes of making connections with our students while they were studying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was our hope that our students would see us in the vignettes and have a few laughs while also appreciating that they continue to be our focus. We look forward to getting them all back to the healthcare facilities for their clinical learning, but this is a great way to make online learning as interactive and fun as possible for our students while also achieving the course outcomes,” says Meedzan.


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