Using standardized patients in an undergraduate mental health simulation

Journal article


Alexander, Louise and Dearsley, Amy. (2013). Using standardized patients in an undergraduate mental health simulation. International Journal of Mental Health. 42(2-3), pp. 149 - 164. https://doi.org/10.2753/IMH0020-7411420209
AuthorsAlexander, Louise and Dearsley, Amy
Abstract

Simulation is a technique of reproducing the performance of a desired circumstance or procedure by means of an equivalent scenario for the purpose of observation or tuition. The overwhelming shortfall in this process is the absence of the human element—the individual patient's response to illness. Little is known about the use of simulation in the mental health component of an undergraduate curriculum. This pilot study aimed to explore the impact of an integrated-simulation approach on second-year undergraduate nursing students' preparedness for a mental health placement. Students completed a questionnaire pre- and post-clinical placement to determine whether the simulations improved their confidence about communication and assessment skill development. Students found the experience of engaging in a mental health simulation with standardized patients a positive experience. They noted that the experience increased their confidence, encouraged professionalism, enhanced their understanding of mental illness presentations, and was also clinically realistic. The benefits of using simulation to address mental health placement shortfalls mean that all students can be guaranteed a controlled and safe interaction with a mental health client. Simulation should not be seen as the "poor cousin" to hospital-based clinical placement. Rather it provides a comprehensive opportunity to engage in an immersive, secure, and innovative learning environment where safe clinical decision-making opportunities are abundant.

Year2013
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health
Journal citation42 (2-3), pp. 149 - 164
PublisherME Sharpe Inc
ISSN0020-7411
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.2753/IMH0020-7411420209
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84888311632
Page range149 - 164
Research GroupSchool of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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