Simulation as a pedagogical learning method for critical paediatric nursing in Bachelor of Nursing programmes: a qualitative study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background: In the national education plan for Bachelor of Nursing in Norway, it is emphasized that focus areas for practical studies must include experience related to paediatric nursing. However, given the paucity of children’s wards in Norwegian hospitals, few students are offered this. The purpose of this study is to explore undergraduate nursing student’s perception of using simulation as a learning method to obtain knowledge and skills in delivering quality healthcare to children and their parents in emergencies. Method: A total of 36 students participated in focus groups. The students were asked to reflect on their learning outcomes regarding the educational method during the simulation. In addition, the students were encouraged to discuss whether this pedagogical method was useful in preparing them to deal with critical medical situations in relation to children and their parents. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: Three subjects emerged from the analysis. The first, simulation as an educational method, showed that the students thought that simulation gave a greater degree of realism and seriousness than other learning activities. The second subject, preparedness for later practice, showed that the students perceived simulation as one of the ways in which they were best prepared for the profession as a nurse. The students emphasized the benefit of having concentrated on children and their parents. The third subject, stress and leadership, showed that simulation as a method was stressful to most students, and lack of knowledge and anxiety about conducting other students kept them from taking the lead. However, the students experienced that they learned a lot about themselves and how they appear as nurses. Conclusion: The bachelor-level student nurses experienced simulation as a realistic and effective educational method for gaining knowledge in the critical healthcare of children and their parents. Simulation made them reflect on a nurse’s area of responsibility in emergencies. When offered practical experience in children’s wards, the use of simulation as a didactic method may help students develop sufficient competence to act appropriately and expediently in critical paediatric nursing settings.