Simulated clinical scenarios: The experiences of Emergency Care Practitioner students


Background: Simulation education as a strategy is used extensively in Emergency Medical Care Departments. The literature in this field strongly suggests positive effects on patient safety and student-readiness. Simulation education strategies often fail to address the student experiences in the classroom. The aim of this study was to explore how Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) students experience simulated clinical scenarios.

Methods: This study was conducted at a South African University in the Gauteng province. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Convenience sampling was used to recruit participation. Data saturation occurred after six interviews. Open coding was used to code the transcripts.

Results: ECP students experienced simulated clinical scenarios to be a highly beneficial teaching and learning experience, but experienced simulation as a nerve-racking assessment tool that requires excellent debriefing and feedback to improve its effectiveness. High-fidelity simulation scenarios, that are built on real-life context, are received most favourably by students.

Conclusions: ECP Students find simulated clinical scenarios to be valuable in their education. To achieve a favourable simulation experience for ECP students excellent debriefing and feedback protocols need to be implemented. Availability of time to practise in the simulation laboratory is limited and students feel limited by this.

Original Research