To celebrate Healthcare Simulation Week, our latest article offers an in-depth look at Galen’s comprehensive approach to simulation-based learning. Simulation, defined as a technique to replicate real-world scenarios for training, testing, and evaluation, is not a new concept in nursing education. Galen has harnessed the power of simulation to elevate its educational offerings, providing a robust, immersive learning environment. This detailed article explores how Galen has integrated simulation across its curriculum, objectives, advantages, and procedures to ensure an enriching experience for future nurses.
Primary Objectives of Simulation at Galen
At Galen, the simulation-based learning approach aims to fulfill multiple objectives:
- Immersive Learning: Create realistic, patient-centered learning experiences.
- Application of Knowledge: Enable students to apply theoretical knowledge in a controlled setting.
- Clinical Judgment: Enhance decision-making and judgment skills essential for safe nursing practice.
Advantages of Simulation-Based Learning
The advantages of employing simulation in the nursing curriculum at Galen are manifold:
- Safety: Allows students to make mistakes in a risk-free environment, ensuring no harm to actual patients.
- Addressing Clinical Limitations: Provides exposure to rare or high-stakes clinical scenarios that students may not encounter in actual clinical placements.
- Role Play: Students can function autonomously in the nurse’s role, gaining confidence.
- Structured Learning: Enables precise planning and execution of patient care components, reducing downtime.
Ensuring Student Competence Through Scenarios
Designing Simulation Scenarios
Simulation experiences at Galen are rooted in the Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best Practice. The design process involves ten crucial steps:
- Conducting a needs assessment.
- Setting measurable objectives.
- Aligning the simulation modality with objectives.
- Designing specific scenarios or cases.
- Employing various types of fidelity for realism.
- Planning learner-centered approaches.
- Organizing a pre-briefing session.
- Conducting debriefing or feedback sessions.
- Evaluating learners and the simulation experience.
- Pilot-testing the simulation before full implementation.
These scenarios are crafted by a team of content experts and “simulationists” who collaborate to create experiences across the curriculum, including treating patients with pre-eclampsia in pediatric acute care settings.
Emotional and Psychological Well-being
Galen places a strong emphasis on the psychological safety of its students. Adopting the Center for Medical Simulation’s Basic Assumption, the program aims to create an environment where learners feel safe and supported. The pre-briefing session, broken down into preparation and briefing components, sets the stage for a psychologically secure learning space.
Integration of Equipment and Technology
Galen offers an array of high-fidelity patient simulators, maintained by specialized technicians and coordinators. Led by the Clinical Learning Operations Manager and the Director of CLL Support, the technology is continually updated to mimic real-world clinical settings accurately.
Assessment Metrics and Feedback Mechanisms
The Creighton Competency Evaluation Instrument (CCEI) is used for high-fidelity simulations. It evaluates students across four domains: assessment, communication, clinical judgment, and patient safety.
Every simulation experience culminates in a debriefing session, conducted by the Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best Practice. These debriefings promote reflection and self-analysis while maintaining psychological safety.
Training and Professional Development
Faculty and staff involved in simulation undergo specialized training. Those with two years of experience in simulation are eligible for certification, a process supported by Galen College of Nursing. Continuous professional development is encouraged through webinars, courses, and journal readings.
Collaboration and Future Plans
Collaboration extends beyond Galen’s walls, with interprofessional simulations being conducted in partnership with external organizations like HCA.
Key Performance Indicators
The Simulation Effectiveness Tool (SET) serves as a primary metric for gauging simulation effectiveness, showing that over 80% of students strongly agree that simulation enhances their learning and boosts their confidence.
Galen is in the pioneering stage of implementing virtual reality-based simulation experiences. Long-term goals include expanding simulation across all campuses and programs and cultivating future educators and leaders in simulation.
Galen provides a holistic approach to simulation-based learning, meticulously integrating it into every facet of its curriculum. From scenario design and emotional well-being to cutting-edge technology and continuous evaluation, the college leaves no stone unturned in preparing its students for the complexities of modern healthcare. With ambitious plans for expansion and interdepartmental collaborations, Galen aims to remain at the forefront of simulation-based nursing education.