During the course of a baccalaureate education, nursing students may encounter patient situations that are unexpected and emergent, including death. The use of simulation can offer students the opportunity to practice their communication skills with family centered-care and their teamwork in a safe environment with these emotionally charged patient situations.
The aim of this study was to provide students with a final summative simulation that could encompass as much of the curriculum as possible.
We developed a simulation experience involving a 32-week pregnant woman diagnosed with H1N1, who deteriorated and needed intubation and an emergency C-section. Students were required to care not only for the pregnant patient who was decompensating but also for the premature infant while working with two providers, a chaplain, and the “husband/father” in an intensive care environment.
Around 94% of the students thought the simulation was beneficial and helped them improve clinical judgments, assessments, and interprofessional and patient/family communication. Students felt this simulation was challenging and recommended it to continue for other senior classes. Students found the debriefing and open discussion with all participants beneficial.
The use of a summative simulation encompassing as much of the nursing curriculum as possible can be an effective tool to assess student learning and engagement.