EDITORIAL BOARD Irene Anderson, Principal Lecturer and Reader in Learning and Teaching in Healthcare Practice, University of Her tfordshire Steve Ashurst, Critical Care Nurse Lecturer, Maelor Hospital, Wrexham Christopher Barber, Freelance Lecturer and Writer Jacqueline Boulton, Lecturer in Adult Nursing, Faculty Lead for student mobility, electives and global health, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifer y & Palliative Care, King’s College London Beverley Brathwaite, Senior lecturer University of Roehampton Amanda Callow, Director of Nursing (professional leadership and quality improvement), Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust Nicholas Castle, Head of Professions/ Assistant Executive Director, Hamad Medical Corporation Ambulance Ser vice, Qatar Jothi Clara J Micheal, Group Director – Nursing, Global Hospitals Group, India Emma Collins, Nurse Consultant, Sexual Health In Plymouth, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust Alison Coull, Lecturer at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Angela Grainger, Professor of Nursing, BPP University School of Nursing Barr y Hill, Associate Professor of Nursing and Critical Care, Nor thumbria University Helen Holder, Senior Lecturer, Nursing Studies, Birmingham City University Mina Karamshi, Specialist Sister in Radiology, Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead Felicia Kwaku, Associate Director of Nursing/Senior Head of Nursing Acute Speciality Medicine, Kings Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Chair Chief Nursing Officer & Chief Midwifer y Officer’s Black Minority Ethnic Strategic Advisor y Group,NHS England Jacqueline Leigh, Professor and Director of Nursing and Midwifer y Education, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk John McKinnon, Senior Lecturer, School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln Aby Mitchell, Senior Lecturer in Nursing Education, King’s College London Joy Notter, Professor, Birmingham City University & Saxion University of Applied Science, Netherlands Hilar y Paniagua, Principal Lecturer/Head of Doctoral Studies Faculty of Health & Well Being at the University of Wolverhampton Ian Peate, Programme Director University Glasgow Singapore Jo Rixon, Head of Nursing (Croydon), University of Roehampton Kendra Schneller, Nurse Practitioner, Health Inclusion Team – Vulnerable Adults and Prevention Ser vices, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Laura Smith, Registered Nursing Associate at Derbyshire Community Health Ser vices NHS Foundation Trust; Associate lecturer in Nursing Associate and Assistant Practitioner Programmes at the University of Derby John Tingle, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham Geoffrey Walker, Matron for Medicine, Cardiology and Specialist Nursing Ser vices Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Jamie Waterall, Deputy Chief Public Health Nurse, Office for Health Improvement & Disparities; Honorar y Professor, University of Nottingham Cate Wood, Senior Lecturer, University of Winchester
Simulation: let’s get real Samantha McCormack, Principal Technical Specialist in Clinical Simulation, College of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences, Brunel University, London (firstname.lastname@example.org) (Twitter @sirmanfer) and Phill Hoddinott, Senior Lecturer, School of Health and Social Care, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Adult Nursing Division, London South Bank University
T he use of simulation in health professional education is not as new and shiny as it once was.This is a good thing; simulation is now used on a global scale and is fully embedded, valued and recognised as part of healthcare education.We know that simulation provides lear ners with a safe and authentic space to develop, practise and refine their clinical skills. We also fully recognise the value that simulation has in developing non-technical skills and how this positively impacts many core attr ibutes, from team-working to communication.We can confidently say that simulation-based education has a direct and positive impact on the delivery of safe and effective patient care.
Embedding simulation into healthcare education has been a lengthy process and its success is based on much more than merely providing an effective lear ning space or identifying a champion to dr ive it forward. Simulation is a concept in its own r ight.
Restr ictions on practice lear ning in nursing due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) allowed universities to implement more simulated lear ning through their emergency and recovery programme standards. The NMC has now committed to explor ing ways in which universities could again increase their flexibility around the use of simulation (NMC, 2023).This could allow greater freedom around how we use simulation in nursing education to manage issues around capacity in practice lear ning to strengthen nursing student education, exper ience and confidence in a safe lear ning environment.
We in nursing higher education pr ide ourselves on using the best evidence-based practice to help our students lear n, understand, and debr ief from their clinical practice exper iences, and we can achieve this through simulation. Real-life, hands-on nursing practice and care, however, is often not like it is in the textbooks.We have a duty to ensure that simulation activities are true and authentic, especially if it is to be used to replace actual clinical exper ience. What should we do when we want to truly recreate the reality of healthcare provision? How do we recreate simulation that reflects the actual delivery of patient care in challenging, chaotic settings? We are talking about the side of healthcare delivery that we hear about all too often in the media.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has told us through its Corr idor Care Survey (2023) that more than 70% of respondents reported that, within emergency medicine, they were car ing for patients in a non-designated clinical area such as a cor r idor, waiting room or storeroom. Should we be conducting simulated lear ning in such areas? These are questions we often ponder upon and worry about.We want our future nursing workforce to be skilled, competent and confident.We want to prepare them to be safe practitioners through developing their knowledge, skill and professional behaviour and we know that we can use simulation to do this.We str ive to kit out our simulated environments with all the latest equipment and gadgets, some that are rarely seen in clinical practice. Should we say that using a coat hook instead of a dr ip stand is acceptable? Should we be using scenar ios where a clinical area has unsafe staffing levels? Does deliver ing a gold standard ‘textbook’ simulation fully prepare students for the cur rent realities of the NHS?
If we in nursing education start using more real-life simulations, are we further embedding the problem and telling our future nurses to accept this as the new normal? This feels uncomfortable and somehow normalises a bigger problem.We know that simulation can be used for so much more than advancing someone’s hands-on clinical skills, so perhaps we could and should be using simulation in a much more political way.
Let’s consider how we can use it to empower our future nursing workforce to reject poor care and to be able to properly articulate their professional concerns to make some sustainable changes so we can put a halt once and for all to this not-so-good side of nursing. So, is it time to make simulation real? We think so. Let’s use it to better empower our nurses of the future. BJN
Nursing and Midwifery Council. Simulated practice lear ning. 2023.
https://tinyurl.com/2v36t8rh/ (accessed 12 September 2023) Royal College of Nursing. Corr idor care: survey results. 2023.
https://tinyurl.com/8jx7apzb (accessed 12 September 2023)
British Journal of Nursing, 2023, Vol 32, No 17
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