The Use of High Fidelity Patient Simulation in Nursing


Aim: This paper will report the findings of a systematic literature review (1996–2006) conducted to determine the evidence available for the contention that the use of high fidelity patient simulation improves student learning in pre-registration nursing programs. This review was undertaken to explore how the use of high fidelity patient simulation in nursing effected students learning and/or learning experiences?

Background: Much of the available research on the use of high fidelity patient simulation within Medical education claims that its use in teaching situations has the potential to improve clinical skills and development of competence, enhance the development of problem solving skills and critical thinking abilities, thus provided a means of improving clinical judgment and subsequently enhancing patient safety in clinical environments. However the application of these claimed benefits within Nursing is difficult to ascertain as much of the research on high fidelity simulation has been undertaken within medicine where the focus is often on the development of specific advanced skills associated with specialty practice rather than the practice focus necessary for the development of beginning practitioners in nursing.

Methods: A systematic search of electronic literature databases was conducted in April 2006 using keyword searches in Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL), Medline (Ovid), Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) using five single keyword search terms (patient, clinical, simulat$, (using “$” for truncation), high fidelity, nursing education) and their various permutations combined.

Results: 167 references were identified from the initial search. Three reviewers independently screened the initial pool of abstracts identifying 46 articles as being of interest. Of the 46 articles only 23 were determined to be research involving high fidelity patient simulation. The remaining articles were opinion and/or theory based and therefore not included.

Conclusions: Of the research publications reviewed on high fidelity patient simulation there is a wide variation on reported outcomes with weak designs, small sample sizes and problematic approaches to analysis making conduct of a rigorous meta-analysis difficult.




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