Finding a way to standardise repeatable scenarios

The university had recently purchased the Laerdal SimPad to run scenarios with some of their existing nursing mankins but like many nursing schools, timetabling the desired frequency of simulation training to large cohorts of students, (260 in the case of Stavanger) was unrealistic. From discussions between Faculty and Michael Sautter, Senior Manager of Educational Implementation at Laerdal, it was observed that though simulation availability with manikins was limited, students were learning through simulation with role play. The need was to find a way of standardising the learning in repeatable role play exercises and ensure the learning objectives were achieved.

Increasing access to simulation

The school set about building checklists in the SimPad to standardise the delivery of these training exercises. Shortly after implementation, it became quickly apparent that students could be independent in their learning, as they could themselves operate the SimPad and run the scenarios with fellow students without the support of teaching staff. This meant that they could access all the practical training they needed in and outside class time to perfect the required skills.

Building confidence and competence together

"The students are really enjoying it," observes Ms. Haraldseid. "It's easier for them to practice and know they are getting correct feedback from the SimPad. They are getting more confident because through the SimPad we can signalise to the student - 'this is what we want you to learn'."

Picking up on the students' growing confidence, Michael Sautter points out, "Practicing to perfection is really key in delivering good healthcare. If you are not confident, you will aways shy away from those difficult situations. We want a healthcare workforce that will go into those situations with the confidence and skills to handle them. What we are seeing at Stavanger University are students who are building that confidence level to a good measure, which is when a student says, 'Now, I understand this. I get it. I can do it and I'm confident.'"

Transferring learning to practice

Following up on this training with students who have sinced moved onto their practical placements, Ms. Haraldseid said, "Students have said that the learning they experienced was easily transferrable to practice and useful to them." Summing up, she said, "Students demand new ways of learning. They are used to feedback and getting knowledge fast. What we are putting on the SimPad is no different to what we are teaching them when I am with them. They are just getting it a different way."