The old idiom practice makes perfect is far more applicable today thanks to new technology. In the medical field specifically, new lifelike robots are changing how nurses practice and master clinical skills. Technology is giving nurses the chance to practice clinical skills on manikins before they see a real patient. Therefore, nurses can make mistakes and get the best training possible, so real patients have better outcomes.
Nursing students at Seminole State College will gain hands-on experience in labor and delivery scenarios through Victoria, a lifelike childbirth simulator. Victoria has many features like blinking eyes, a pulse, and blood pressure to help enhance the student’s training.
Dr. Cheryl Cicotti, associate dean of nursing at Seminole State College, thinks that simulation training will help create better nurses. Cicotti explains that when her generation was trained by standing back and watching as a procedure was performed. Now, nursing students can use what they have learned in the classroom to deal with a variety of obstetric scenarios.
The students go through two phases of labor and then delivery. Simulation helps the students perform under pressure during a variety of scenarios like a breech delivery or a C-section. As they practice over and over again on Victoria, the students will become more proficient and be better prepared to handle a real emergency. Actors are even used to represent the patient’s family, so the students also develop their interpersonal skills.
Thus, simulation is helping nursing students become better at responding to an emergency situation. Simulation allows them to practice vital, lifesaving skills while also developing their empathy and bedside manner. By practicing both of these skills on a simulator first, patients will receive better care.
Furthermore, as the country’s population ages, there will be a critical need for nurses in the near future. Unfortunately, there are not enough OB training spots available in hospitals for nursing students. Some students might go an entire rotation without ever witnessing a birth.
Hence, simulation is an effective workaround that allows schools to give students the necessary hands-on experience that they would miss out on otherwise. In fact, new research suggests that up to 50% of clinical hours can be replaced with simulation training.
The investment in simulation has paid off for Seminole State College. They currently have a 99% pass rate and are a top-ranked school in their area. Suffice it to say that simulation training has shown positive results both on paper and in practice.