Views of emergency medical care students on the value of simulation for achievement of clinical competence
Background. Simulation is a commonly used method for clinical learning and assessment in the health sciences. However, despite technological advancements, we are unable to perfectly simulate the appearance and behaviour of real patients, including the stressors, distractions and surroundings commonly encountered in the authentic clinical environment. In South Africa, simulations are used extensively in the education and training of emergency care practitioners (ECPs).
Objective. To investigate and describe the views of ECP students regarding the value of simulation v. four other learning methods in preparing them for real-world practice.
Methods. ECP students (N=79) completed a purposefully designed questionnaire. A Likert scale was used to obtain participants’ views on how well simulation ranks compared with theoretical lectures, tutorials, inhospital and prehospital work in preparing them for clinical practice.
Results. Participants valued simulation as an educational tool. Simulation was ranked as the best method for teaching clinical assessments and procedures and came second only to the real clinical environment for teaching clinical decision-making. Simulation was ranked third, after theoretical classes and prehospital shifts, with regard to learning to take a history and identify life-threatening conditions.
Conclusions. ECP students view simulation as a valuable learning method to manage incidents, conduct clinical assessments, perform procedures and make clinical decisions. Simulation, however, has limitations and was seen as less suited for teaching history-taking and identification of life-threatening conditions. Further research is needed to determine the ideal blend of simulation with other pedagogies in the education of ECP students.
C Vincent-Lambert, Department of Emergency Medical Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa
C N Douglas, Department of Emergency Medical Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa
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Date published: 2019-12-12
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