Role of simulation in enhancing knowledge and skills for clinical practice in pre registration Nursing and Midwifery students
Introduction: The use of simulation in nursing education is increasing. Nurses require knowledge and skills for safe and effective practice. Simulation based training has been used to enhance clinical skills in critical care (Murray, D. 2006). The aim of this study was to identify if simulation can be used to improve knowledge and skills in third year nursing students on Adult branch, Child branch and Midwifery training schemes. Methodology: Participating students filled in a five point Likert scale based questionnaire following their first exposure to a simulation based training session which had been incorporated into their curriculum. The minimum score of 1 related to a “strongly disagree” response, whereas the maximum score of 5 related to a “strongly agree” response. Discussion: The results identify that the student’s felt that the simulation session had improved both their clinical knowledge and skills levels. With means of 4.18 and 4.28 and S.D.’s of .909 and .862 respectively, the results show a very strongly held view on the benefits of using simulation based training, with very limited variance amongst the participants. This supports the need to provide all students with the opportunity to use patient simulators in a safe environment. The scenarios can also be developed to explore situations that students may not encounter in practice. However, these results do not identify if the knowledge and skills are directly transferrable to practice. Further research is required in this area.