Are All High Fidelity Experiences the Same?: Observational vs. Experiential Simulation

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 3:05 PM

Shellye A. Vardaman, PhD, RN-BC, CNE1
Kelly S. Johnson, MSN, RN1
Amy Y. Spurlock, PhD, RN1
Monica N. Ramirez, PhD, RN2
E'Loria Simon-Campbell, PhD, RN3
(1)School of Nursing, Troy University, Troy, AL
(2)School of Nursing, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX
(3)School of Nursing, Prairie View A&M University, Houston, TX

Learning Objective 1: Differentiate/define the types of high fidelity simulation: experiential and observational.

Learning Objective 2: Identify statistically significant differences in the types high fidelity experiences.

Initially, nursing schools utilized low technical simulation for students to practice crucial nursing skills. Currently, nursing schools are moving into the realm of moderate and high fidelity simulations which better meet the primary goal of simulation which is to engage the learner into real life situations.  Simulation is a natural fit into nursing education because it provides a safe and risk free environment in which competencies can be achieved and assessed.

Within the last 15 years, health care education has been encouraging increased use of high fidelity simulation as a means to meet student learning outcomes. Simulation is demonstrated through computer-based simulation, simulation for skill training, and full scale simulation which may involve the use of high fidelity manikins or real life role playing. While “hands on” learning opportunities are well-received by nursing students, not all high fidelity simulation experiences are the same. This research seeks to differentiate observational (OHFS) and experiential high fidelity simulation (EHFS) experiences.  

The sample was aggregated based on semester in the BSN program with a total of 196 student occurrences. A tool to measure such experiences, the High Fidelity Simulation Comparison tool, was created and validated for use in this study (Cronbach’s alpha = .812). Results show that there are significant differences between OHFS and EHFS experiences in allowing students to grasp skills not taught in clinical, learn from their mistakes, and increase critical thinking.