High-Fidelity Simulation of Pediatric Emergency Care: An Eye-Opening Experience for Baccalaureate Nursing Students

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Abstract

Background

Little attention has been given to in-depth examination of what high-fidelity simulation is like for nursing students within the context of a pediatric emergency, such as a cardiopulmonary arrest. It is possible that such high-fidelity simulation could provoke in nursing students intense psychological reactions.

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to learn about baccalaureate nursing students’ lived experience of high-fidelity simulation of pediatric cardiopulmonary arrest.

Method

Phenomenological methods were used. Twenty-four interviews were conducted with 12 students and were analyzed for themes.

Results

The essence of the experience is that it was eye-opening. The students found the simulation to be a surprisingly realistic nursing experience as reflected in their perceiving the manikin as a real patient, thinking that they were saving their patient’s life, feeling like a real nurse, and feeling relief after mounting stress. It was a surprisingly valuable learning experience in that the students had an increased awareness of the art and science of nursing and increased understanding of the importance of teamwork and were feeling more prepared for clinical practice and wanting more simulation experiences.

Conclusion

Educators should capitalize on the benefits of high-fidelity simulation as a pedagogy, while endeavoring to provide psychologically safe learning.

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