Along with experiences in hospital and community settings, students have the opportunity to engage in “real-life” experiences through simulation in the safety of the lab setting. Simulation has been used for many years in the aviation and nuclear power industries to allow risk-free practice; and to teach, practice, and/or evaluate critical-thinking skills (Issenberg et al., 1999; Traver, 1999). It is from these experts that the principles involved in training and teaching with simulators are borrowed.
Nursing students in all four years of the BScN and Nurse Practitioner programs are provided with opportunities to engage in simulation scenarios. These simulated patients talk, breath, have lung, heart and bowel sounds and are physiologically modelled to respond to treatment and medication as would a real patient. Over 150 scenarios are available for students to experience, which facilitates the bridging of theory to practice.
Judy Bornais, one of our Experiential Learning Specialists responsible for the Simulation Centre, is thrilled with the students’ enthusiasm for simulation experiences:
- “I felt the simulation was a great learning experience. The rapidly changing patient condition allowed us to use our critical thinking skills. It was wonderful!!”
- “This experience was extremely valuable as it really incorporates our theory into a very realistic practice scenario. Good to evaluate our level of patient care, team work and problem solving skills”.
The simulation experiences have also benefited our graduates once they are in the workforce. A testimonial received by Judy Bornais attests to this fact:
- "..the reason I wanted to email you was because of something that happened at work yesterday. I was caring for a very sick patient and eventually had the opportunity to advocate for my patient in having a meaningful discussion about code status with the family member. As we were talking about the various things that happen in a code situation, the difficulty of making this kind of decision, etc., I remembered practicing this kind of discussion in the nursing [simulation] lab in the code/end-of-life scenario, and was thinking how grateful I was for that and how it's become so important to my practice. Just thought I'd pass it along with another big 'THANKS' for all you do with in the nursing [simulation] lab. Heather, 2011 BScN graduate"
Simulation Labs location:
Nursing's two Simulation Labs are located on the 2nd floor of the Anthony P. Toldo Health Education Centre and the 3rd floor of the Medical Education Building.
For more information, please contact:
Professor Debbie Rickeard
Experiential Learning Specialist
Faculty of Nursing
Room 3124 Medical Education Building
T: 519.253.3000 x4993