Author: Gabby Rowley-Conwy, Deborah Rowberry, Beryl Mansel, Brian Mfula, Alison Bray
The aim of the teaching session was to incorporate simulation, a valued education teaching method, into the third year undergraduate mental health nursing programme. The use of simulation in mental health field, unlike adult nursing, is scarce. Delivered from a multi-field approach, the aim was to consolidate academic and practice learning and increasing students’ confidence. Simulation and role plays helps students deal with situations without the barriers of real-life patients and the ability to eliminate patient safety issues. It also allows students to connect learning and experience as well as deal with emotions and discuss and reflect on this. Well-designed simulation and debrief allows learning to occur in psychomotor, cognitive and affective domains. The session utilised low-fidelity simulation of a client’s physical/mental deterioration necessitating rapid assessment skills, critical thinking and team-working in a role play context. Scenarios were based on case studies. The students reported enjoying the session, and appreciated the relevance to practice setting. This was an opportunity to revisit and consolidate assessment skills, and the students found the session informative and engaging. Some students identified feelings of discomfort during the scenarios, however expressed the value of this to support learning. Learning occurs effectively when students are pushed of out their comfort zones. Simulation training is an effective method to consolidate academic and practice learning and to increase confidence of mental health nursing students.