Simulation: let's get real
The use of simulation in health professional education is not as new and shiny as it once was. This is a good thing; simulation is now used on a global scale and is fully embedded, valued and recognised as part of healthcare education. We know that simulation provides learners with a safe and authentic space to develop, practise and refine their clinical skills. We also fully recognise the value that simulation has in developing non-technical skills and how this positively impacts many core attributes, from team-working to communication. We can confidently say that simulation-based education has a direct and positive impact on the delivery of safe and effective patient care.
Embedding simulation into healthcare education has been a lengthy process and its success is based on much more than merely providing an effective learning space or identifying a champion to drive it forward. Simulation is a concept in its own right.
Restrictions on practice learning in nursing due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) allowed universities to implement more simulated learning through their emergency and recovery programme standards. The NMC has now committed to exploring ways in which universities could again increase their flexibility around the use of simulation (NMC, 2023). This could allow greater freedom around how we use simulation in nursing education to manage issues around capacity in practice learning to strengthen nursing student education, experience and confidence in a safe learning environment.
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