Using Simulation to Impact Global Health

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Richardean Benjamin, PhD, MPH
Phyllis Barham, RN, MS
Phyllis Eaton, RN, MS
Kay Palmer, RN, MSN, CRRN
Carolyn Rutledge, PhD, CFNP
Lynn L. Wiles, MSN, RN
School of Nursing, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

Learning Objective 1: describe factors to consider when developing a simulated global health instructional activity

Learning Objective 2: discuss lessons learned from implementation of a virtual global health experience

Purpose: Over the past several decades, global health initiatives have come to the attention of numerous national and international organizations which include the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the International Council of Nursing. The focus of these initiatives has been advocating a philosophy of “health care for all” with emphasis on individuals living in developing countries.  The spread of infectious diseases due to poverty and poor sanitary conditions are not confined to remote countries.  Globalization has lead to the blurring of traditional borders which no longer offer immunity to developed countries.  “Globalization is a broad term used to refer to international economic expansion as well as to the interdependent economic, political, and social processes that accompany the flow of people, capital, goods, information, concepts, images, ideas, values, across increasingly diffuse borders and bounders “(Hurrel & Woods, 1995, pg. 10).  This expansion across continents raises numerous issues for the health care community in general and the nursing in particular.  The challenge for nurse educators is how to provide a meaningful learning experience for nursing students that will capture the global perspective. 

Methods: Simulation will allow the student an opportunity to participate in a virtual scenario in a safe environment.  This project includes the use of a faculty developed scenario, and Standardized Patients to provide this experience for nursing students. 

Results: Students will be evaluated according to their ability to complete a culture-specific assessment, develop a population-focused treatment plan, develop intervention, and evaluation strategies.  Factors to consider are the political, economic and social factors of the locality.  The capstone activity will be for students to seek opportunities as volunteers with such agencies as Operation Smile, Physicians for Peace or Physicians for Human Rights. 

Conclusion: Using simulation to promote global health will allow students an experience that is safe and realistic.