To reduce performance anxiety and increase engagement in medical-surgical simulations, virtual simulation (VS) was introduced prior to complex high-fidelity simulation to increase students' self-efficacy.
A presimulation preparation needed to be expanded for high-fidelity simulation involving emergent clinical situations.
Combined frameworks of Ericsson's theory of deliberate practice and Bandura's self-efficacy theory were applied. Students completed VS scenarios until a specific score of mastery was obtained, and then the same scenario was repeated in the high-fidelity simulation laboratory. A modified self-efficacy scale survey was administered presimulation and postsimulation. Data were collected on 3 cohorts of students (n = 151) over an academic year.
VS followed by high-fidelity simulation significantly increased student perception of self-efficacy in all 3 cohorts (P = .001, P = .037, P = .005).
Preparation for high-fidelity simulation using VS increases self-efficacy and allows students to engage in the simulation experience, thus achieving higher levels of mastery through deliberate practice.