Using Simulation to Improve Novice Nursing Students’ Assessment and Communication Skills
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Competent assessment skills are foundational for nursing care diagnoses, decisions, and treatment plans. Taking a patient’s health history is integral to nursing assessment, yet remains a difficult skill for novice nurses to learn. Currently, history taking is taught the first year of TWU’s nursing program with health assessment. In the skills lab, students practice on each other by rotating nurse and patient roles, which does not provide a realistic opportunity to genuinely practice interviewing in a clinical setting. A studentcentered, active learning experience was created for the assessment skills lab. The simulation improves students’ ability to elicit an accurate and thorough health history, allowing students to: 1) practice assessment, interviewing, and patient-centered communication skills, 2) improve competence, and 3) build self-confidence for future clinical experiences. Students will complete surveys on their perceptions of the simulation’s effect on learning and confidence prior to clinical placement, and survey results will be evaluated.