Simulation in health care has become more popular within nurse education and is increasingly used to teach and assess clinical skill acquisition, explains Kyle Charnley.
Simulation offers a teaching and learning approach that replicates real life scenarios so that learners can develop in multiple ways.
This includes developing critical thinking skills, clinical decision making skills, improving clinical judgement, promoting effective communication, and encouraging teamwork while practising nursing care in a safe environment.
Many argue that the introduction of Mrs. Chase in 1911 with an injection site for needles started the movement to our current immersive simulated experiences where any environment can be recreated.
It has become an increasingly popular teaching and learning approach, with ever increasing research and developments into simulation and its uses in education and healthcare. Given that the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) have accepted the use of simulation for those training to join the profession in the Standards for pre-registration nursing education now is the time to explore its use as part of the NMC revalidation process.
“The purpose of NMC revalidation is to support ongoing development”
NMC revalidation has been introduced to UK nurses from April 2016, following the Francis report, with the aim to improve public protection by ensuring the UK’s 655,000 nurses and midwives are up to date in their training and skills and that they continue to practise safely and effectively throughout their careers.
The purpose of NMC revalidation is to support ongoing development which aligns with the suggestion that simulation is a method to develop deeper learning.
Given that the purpose of simulation is to replicate real-life scenarios the way this can be used for revalidation are up for debate and include: a role play of a given situation a nurse may have encountered normally written in a reflective piece and discussed with their confirmer, where if using simulation the professional can recall their thoughts/ feelings and decision making processes opening for discussion for further learning not only for the individual but also their organisation.
“With simulation this staff member has the opportunity rehearse and hone the skills required”
Another example of a staff member who has concerns around their abilities in any given aspect of their professional duties, again with simulation this staff member has the opportunity rehearse and hone the skills required, this in turn would build confidence in their skills with a safe and constructive environment.
The examples offered demonstrate that expensive and high-tech equipment does not need to be used when applying simulation to the revalidation process.
Simulation for revalidation uses amplified real experiences with guided experiences that evoke substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive way.
This giving support that it could be done anywhere, anytime by most professionals. Given the examples into the use of simulation and NMC revalidation, the NMC could explore this innovative teaching and learning method on qualified nurses demonstrating the professional requirements for continued registration.
Thus not only fulfilling the objectives set out by the Francis report but in cases this can prove instrumental in staff learning and development, which in turn can strengthen public confidence in the nursing and midwifery professions.
Kyle Charnley is a Teaching and Learning intern at the School of Nursing Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences in the University of Salford.