Learning Objective 1: Discuss gaming theory and the application of serious virtual gaming to clinical practice applications.
Learning Objective 2: Discuss the use of virtual games to support critical thinking and decision-making in nursing education.
The purpose of this project was to examine the use of a virtual disaster game in a community course in an online RN-BSN program, asking the question, “Do virtual clinical practice experiences support clinical judgment and decision-making skills in providing care during emergency situations?” Students participated in a robust virtual disaster game, where they encountered a community that faced an impending flood. Throughout the simulation, students made critical decisions, allocating community resources such as housing, schools, hospitals, natural and man-made barriers, training, and disaster alert systems. At the end of the timed exercise, the flood waters encompassed the community. Based upon the decision of the participant, the community either suffered minimal damage from the flood, or was severely damaged with regard to the loss of lives and homes. The student received immediate feedback, and could repeat the game in order to attain a more positive outcome of the scenario.
Project outcomes measured student critical thinking, decision-making, and self-assessment of learning and confidence. Findings indicated that virtual clinical practice experiences support clinical judgment and decision-making skills, and provide a relevant pedagogical strategy for effective clinical practice applications in nursing education.
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