Is This The Reason Healthcare Simulation Isn’t Main Stream?

clinical simulation in nursing

Key Nursing Educators have spoken against the use of simulation for a very bizarre reason. In the latest “Clinical Simulation in Nursing” Journal December 2016 Volume 12, Issue 12, INACSL Journal Editor Suzan “Suzie” Kardong-Edgren explains a major misunderstanding about the use of healthcare simulation.

In the edition, Suzie provides a powerful reminder about the challenges faced for simulation in nursing education, and “what simulation is and how it is evolving”. In my opinion, the laggards of simulation technology adoption will cite any and every reason to reject modern advances in educational practices as the scapegoat for systematic failures. Another must-read commentary by one of our community’s most influential thought leaders entitled “High Fidelity Educators” which you can read here:

“A recent Researchgate citation alert led me to a most interesting editorial by Dean, Williams, and Balnaves (2016) entitled Living dolls and nurses without empathy. The lack of general understanding about what simulation is and how it is evolving, demonstrated in the editorial, provided fodder for thoughtful commentaries from many in the simulation community. This evolving commentary can be found in the blog section of the Journal of Advanced Nursing. It is well worth a read.

It remains very clear that a segment of the nursing education community does not understand that simulation is not about the manikin. However, learner deficits identified during simulation can be easily scapegoated because of the use of simulation. The upshot of the Dean et al. editorial is that nursing students are demonstrating less empathy and that the use of plastic dolls contributes to this. I contend a noted lack of empathy is not new (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & Day, 2010) but that we can clearly see it now during simulation.

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Part of the skill set required of a simulation educator is choosing the right kind of simulation (standardized patient, manikin, or task trainer) to accomplish a learning outcome. It is probably not ideal to have a learning outcome of empathy embedded in a manikin-based simulation, but it is certainly possible. Many of us have seen student learners crying at the end of a manikin-based scenario.

Simulation has allowed us to more clearly identify those students who might lean toward a less empathic nature. I might not have noticed a lack of student empathy with a real patient in the past because I, as the faculty member, was there, beside the student and interacting empathetically with a patient, whether the student was capable of doing so or not. In reality, we know our students’ skills and abilities much better after a simulation than we know their abilities within the clinical setting. I became a much more astute educator after seeing my verbally skilled students say some unbelievable things to patients, during simulation.

Working in simulation, one becomes a high-fidelity educator. Admittedly, manikins provide only partial fidelity. The facilitator sets the scene, the mood, observes, diagnoses, and debriefs the scenario. If fidelity is defined as the “degree of accuracy to which a simulation, whether it is physical, mental, or both, represents a given frame of reality in terms of cues and stimuli, and permissible action” (Tun, Alinier, Tang, & Kneebone, 2015 p. 164), it is the educator (facilitator) who orchestrates this fidelity and brings it home, during the debriefing. Students missing opportunities to develop or demonstrate empathetic communication skills can be debriefed in a simulation setting and can try it again, preparing for real patients and families. Arguably, the best clinical educators today are those who work in both simulation and the clinical setting. They are true high-fidelity educators.”

Featured Articles in This Edition:

  • Utilization of the Simulation Environment to Practice Teach-Back With Kidney Transplant Patients – Kara Mangold
  • Acting With a Purpose: The Lived Experience of Actors in the Role of Standardized Patients Portraying Mental Illness – Judith M. Jarosinski, Debra A. Webster
  • Generalizability Theory: An Introduction With Application to Simulation Evaluation – Susan K. Prion, Gregory E. Gilbert, Katie A. Haerling
  • Nursing and Social Work Trauma Simulation: Exploring an Interprofessional Approach – Sara J. Manning, David M. Skiff, Lizette P. Santiago, Andrew Irish
  • Logistical Planning and Making the Move to a New Simulation Space – Jan Barber, Ashley Eberhardt, Brooklyn Kennedy, Suzie Kardong-Edgren
  • Making Sense of Methods and Measurement: Lawshe’s Content Validity Index – Gregory E. Gilbert, Susan Prion

Read the latest edition on the Clinical Simulation in Nursing Website!

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Special Call for Manuscripts – Use of Games as Simulation and Gaming Theory in Simulation

nursing simulation journal

The official INACSL journal: Clinical Simulation in Nursing has a special issue call out for Manuscripts on the “Use of Games as Simulation and Gaming Theory in Simulation”.

We invite health professionals who are exploring the application of gaming theory to simulation and/or using gaming simulation for teaching or evaluation to submit manuscripts for a special issue to be published in January 2016. Eric Bauman PhD, RN and Nicole Harder PhD, RN will serve as the guest editors for this special issue, to be published in January 2016. Manuscripts for consideration should be submitted to Clinical Simulation in Nursing by 1 October, 2015.

When submitting manuscripts for this special issue, please select “special issue” when Clinical Simulation in Nursing is the flagship journal of the International Association of Clinical Simulation and Learning. The journal provides a forum for research, innovation, review, and debate in simulation. The journal is dedicated to the advancement of simulation as an educational strategy to improve patient care. A double blind peer-review process is used for all submissions.

You can submit at:


INACSL Launches New Website with Help from HealthySim Founder Lance Baily

inacsl website

Written by Lance Baily, edited by Beverly Hewett.

This article highlights the development process of the new website which was lead by INACSL VP of Communications Beverly Hewett PhD, RN and Lance Baily, founder of & The Gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists (SimGHOSTS.Org).

Over the past two years from 2010-2012, the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning leadership has empowered a core team of volunteers and paid consultants to help redevelop the INACSL.Org website.  The completely redeveloped website was released over the 2012 holiday break after a nine month long construction process.

In February of 2011, the INACSL Board of Directors requested Board Member and VP of Communications Beverly Hewett to redevelop the INACSL website.

Having little previous experience designing such a large-scale web-based project before, Beverly initially worked with Eric Bauman PhD, RN, Paramedic who helped to provide an initial comprehensive community survey and needs assessment review of the website.  To assess the publically displayed pages a survey was sent to the INACSL membership, and to assess the website administrative ‘back-end’ control panel a survey was sent to the INACSL board of directors.  Two primary concerns emerged from these surveys:

1)   Requests for changes to the general information posted on the website had to be emailed to the host company by INACSL board members.  As the host company did not have dedicated staff available to make such content-related changes, requests for edits could take several days or weeks to accomplish.

2)   The overall navigation and look of the website was very outdated, which made finding key resources or pages difficult and time-consuming.

In 2008, INACSL partnered with an online membership management data company to host the INACSL.Org website.  At that time there were 400 participants to the annual INACSL meeting.  By 2010, annual meeting attendance increased to over 800 participants.  As the membership continued to grow the need for more control of the website quickly became clear.  In 2011 the INACSL board reflected on the survey outcomes and made the decision to financially commit to redeveloping the website. Continue reading to learn how INACSL consulted with HealthySim founder Lance Baily to help redevelop a modern day website for this professional nursing society!

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