What are Simulations?
Simulation education provides a bridge between classroom learning and real-life clinical experiences. The goal is to offer a range of simulation-based assessments allowing students to use their knowledge and critical thinking skills in a setting which approximates clinical environments. Simulation enhances engagement and moves nurse educators beyond the traditional role of educator into a more creative realm. Students become more active participants in their own learning by connecting theory with the practice environment.
The strategy behind simulation develops the cognitive and psychomotor skills which are essential to safe and effective nursing practice. Simulation includes the use of trainers, manikins, and computer software to enhance learning.
IPFW Nursing Simulation Center
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Simulation Center includes low fidelity models and high fidelity manikins to provide interactive simulations and skills testing. Four rooms are equipped with hospital like equipment for students to interact with patients. High fidelity manikins are programed to provide vital signs, heart, lung, and bowel sounds, and interact verbally with students. The exam suites are set up like a physician exam rooms with health assessment equipment. The simulation rooms and exam rooms have the capacity for videotaping for students and instructors to review. Static manikins and models of different body systems are provided for students to practice and learn basic nursing skills.
Clinical Performance & Simulation Coordinator
My name is Katrina Eby and I have been involved in simulations for the last ten years. I have always found simulations a way to apply clinical skills to the knowledge learned in the classroom. Simulation provides a place to safely practice situations before they occur in the patient environment. I remember having to call a physician for the first time as a newly graduated nurse. I was very nervous and did not know what to say. I had a more experienced nurse stand next to me and listen in case I forgot something. Now our students practice these phone calls before they graduate and are given practice in organizing thoughts as well as critical lab/x-ray information before making a phone call to a healthcare provider. Debriefing after each simulation allows students an opportunity to discuss why they made decisions as well as why they did not. Nursing students are asked to pull information from their course work and talk about how this knowledge applies to clinical practice. Simulation are a way to practice in a safe environment while taking time to reflect on individual actions.