Investigating the use of simulation as a teaching strategy
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Investigating the use of simulation as a teaching strategy

Chew Kim Shepherd Lecturer, School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery
Margaret McCunnis Lecturer, School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery
Lynn Brown Lecturer, School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery
Mario Hair Lecturer, School of Science, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley

Aim To compare the performance of two groups of pre-registration nursing students exposed to two different methods of simulation as a teaching strategy, with the aim of providing an evidence base to assist in the selection of appropriate teaching methods, and to inform resource allocation with regard to teaching clinical skills.

Method A longitudinal, comparative quasi-experimental design, including a validated and piloted assessment tool, was used to evaluate students’ performance within three domains: cognitive (knowledge and decision making), motor and affective. Students also completed self-assessments of confidence and anxiety levels. Data were statistically and thematically analysed.

Results Students who had been exposed to different forms of simulated teaching, showed no significant difference in performance within the cognitive and motor domains. However, one form of simulation was more effective in enabling students’ learning in the affective domain (students’ interpersonal, communication and professional nursing skills). An unexpected finding was students’ inability to measure vital signs manually.

Conclusion Simulation as a teaching strategy contributes to students’ learning. Education providers and clinicians need to recognise that overuse of automated equipment may potentially de-skill future generations of nurses.

Nursing Standard. 24, 35,42-48. doi: 10.7748/ns2010.05.24.35.42.c7751

Correspondence

kim.shepherd@uws.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review