Pi Phi Chapter

The Effect of Human Patient Simulation as a Teaching Method on Caring Efficacy in First Semester Associate Degree Nursing Students

Nursing Research on the Green

2012 Abstract

Laureen A. Love MSN,RN,NNP-BC
Western Technical College

  • Background: Literature related to caring and nursing education focuses primarily on nurse educators as central figures in transmitting caring to their students. Research is needed to explore means by which students learn to care as nurses and how this process may be encouraged in nursing curricula.
  • Significance: Research has been conducted evaluating use of simulation for promotion of skills competency, critical thinking and self efficacy. Little has been done to evaluate the role of simulation to teach caring. The simulated human factor seems to offer an exceptional opportunity in which to encourage the caring aspects of nursing essential to nursing practice.
  • Purpose/objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if use of human patient simulation in an introductory nursing skills class could be effective in improving nursing students’ caring efficacy.
  • Methods: This study was a quasi-experimental, repeated measures design utilizing the Coates Caring Efficacy Scale (CES) (Coates, 1997) as pretest and posttest comparison between control and experimental groups. Participants received instruction related to 24 nursing skills by lecture, discussion, demonstration, and coached practice. The experimental group also interacted with the simulated patient when practicing these nursing skills. The simulator was operated by a nursing instructor following a scripted scenario. The CES was administered again as a post-test to measure students’ perceptions of their caring efficacy.
  • Results: Results were not statistically different between control and experimental groups. Post-test scores for the experimental group were higher than the control. There was no statistical difference in the experimental group between pre and post-intervention scores; however a change in mean test scores from pre-test 5.26 to post-test 5.35 indicated a positive trend.
  • Clinical Implications: Assessment of students’ caring abilities has an important role to play in the development of nursing curriculum. Findings from this study strongly suggest simulation as a method to teach caring aspects of nursing has promise.

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