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Using Simulation to Teach Nursing Students and Licensed Clinicians Obstetric Emergencies

Alderman, Jennifer Taylor RNC-OB, MSN, CNL

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: November/December 2012 - Volume 37 - Issue 6 - p 394–400
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e318264bbe7

Improving patient safety in healthcare has reached critical mass both in the United States and worldwide. Effective communication between nurses and other members of the healthcare team is an essential component of patient safety. In obstetrics, poor communication and teamwork were causative factors in many of reviewed sentinel event cases. Simulation is a recommended teaching strategy used to improve communication and teamwork skills, and therefore patient safety, among interprofessional team members. This article offers a strategy in the form of a shoulder dystocia simulation that can be implemented in either academic or clinical settings. Simulations such as this one can be used to enhance teamwork and communication skills of healthcare professionals, both in educational institutions and in clinical practice settings, with a goal of improving patient safety.

Simulations depicting emergent obstetrical scenarios such as shoulder dystocia provide hands-on practice for the obstetric health care team to improve teamwork and communication.

Jennifer Taylor Alderman is a Clinical Instructor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing, Chapel Hill, NC. She can be reached via e-mail at

The author declares no conflict of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.