Preparing Clinicians for Transitioning Patients Across Care Settings and Into the Home Through Simulation

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Abstract

Assuring home care staff competencies through simulation has the potential to improve care transitions and clinical outcomes. Recreating a home environment can be used for orientation of home care staff and to meet other learning needs. Lessons learned from the use of simulation in a geriatric nursing course in a prelicensure program can be used to prepare clinicians for transitioning patients across care settings. With simulation, learners can identify challenges in patient safety, pain management, and management of patients' cognitive decline as well as learn how to communicate with patients, family members, and the healthcare team. Simulation, as an interactive pedagogy, provides opportunities for learners to practice assessment, monitoring, and patient care in a controlled, safe, risk-free environment. Following participation in a simulation, learners are given the opportunity to reflect on ways to improve patient care when transitioning from acute to home care settings. Simulations described in this article can be used for orientation of staff to a home healthcare agency because they allow clinicians to hone the skills necessary for patient care in the home. Staff educators can also use simulation to validate staff competencies in caring for patients at home.

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