At the start of the 2019 fall semester, Shawnee Community College’s (SCC) Nursing Program began using a high-fidelity patient simulator to provide their students with hands-on obstetrics training. Gaumard’s Victoria will replace the college’s previous simulator and provide students with the opportunity to gain a variety of obstetric experiences before they work with real patients.
SCC students working to become a licensed practical nurse or a licensed registered nurse must complete 40 and 75 clinical hours, respectively. Clinical hours allow students to apply what they have learned in the classroom in real medical settings over the course of several months.
Clinical hours are vital to the students’ education as it exposes them to different patients and medical cases across various specialties. This hands-on experience prepares nursing students for the rigors of the profession and allows them to practice working with, diagnosing, and treating patients.
However, learning in this environment is opportunistic, in that, students practice certain skills only when opportunities to practice present themselves. This means that some students, for example, can complete an entire obstetrics rotation without ever witnessing a live birth.
Since nurses interact with pregnant women in different clinical settings, any gaps in their education could jeopardize patient safety and negatively affect the quality of care these patients receive. Thus, SCC is using simulation-based training to provide their students with the experience they need to be effective healthcare providers.
Victoria can present a variety of common and rare, low- to high-risk obstetric events. As a result, students never miss an opportunity to learn or work hands-on providing care. Learning is never passive during a simulation session as students are forced to think critically, make decisions, and delegate tasks as they would during a real medical event.
Moreover, during a simulation session, students can make mistakes and learn from those mistakes without risking the safety of a real patient. Educators can reproduce emergency events like postpartum hemorrhaging until students master the skills needed to provide safe and effective care every time.
“Those are things, thankfully, we don’t see a lot of times in clinic but still want them to have the exposure and know what to do,” said April Dollins, a member of the SCC nursing staff.
Studies have shown that adults learn best through active participation and reflection. Therefore, SCC staff use Victoria to create an environment where students learn in context instead of simply listening to a lecture.
Moreover, clinical experiences ensure students develop psychomotor skills so they can provide high-quality and safe care when they enter the workforce.
SCC said in a news release that Victoria allows the college “to continue providing the highest level of training to prepare our nursing students for successfully entering the medical field and better care for their patients.”