Simulating practice to enhance learning for 14-16 year old Health and Social Care students

Karen Anne Murrell


This paper will present an evaluation of the use of simulated practice in the education of 14-15 year old students who are interested in pursuing a career in health care.Currently there is much emphasis on the recruitment and retention of the best available candidates into the health and social professions.  However, ensuring that prospective students have a full understanding of the professional and educational requirements of their chosen career is an ongoing challenge.  Using simulation in healthcare education provides an opportunity to practise skills and consider professional issues in a risk-free learning environment that closely resembles the realities of practice.A simulated practice session was developed and piloted with a group of  students who were undertaking the first year of the Diploma in  Health and Social Care.  The simulation session entitled 'Edith's rights' addressed many aspects of practice that were integral to the curriculum.  This included: infection control; health and safety in clinical setting; privacy and dignity; nutritional assessment; physical care needs and communication skills.  Students confidence and perception of ability to apply theory to practice related to practice were assessed prior to and after the simulation session. Data was also collected following the simulation session about the quality of the learning experience. Analysis of the data demonstrated that simulation can support preparation for practice and assist in the application of theory to practice.  Students reported that using simulation in this way had given them a clearer idea of the professional role and educational challenges of the career that they were about to embark on.  These findings will have implications for health and social care educators who are considering or using simulation to prepare students for entering a health care career. 


Nursing; Simulation; Preparation for practice

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ISSN: 1759-667X