E. O'Shea, M. Pagano, S. Campbell, G. Caso

Fairfield University (UNITED STATES)
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the process involved in expanding a nursing education experience by combining an e-curriculum and an interdisciplinary approach. For the past several years, many nursing programs have used computerized patient simulations to enhance nursing students’ clinical education. The advantages of simulated scenarios for students, faculty, and patients are multi-factorial and include less student anxiety, decreased risk for patients, and highly controlled role-playing scenarios. These simulations rely on multiple technologies including Human Patient Simulators (HPSs), software, audio and video equipment, and digital recording and playback devices. However, to focus primarily on the ability to mimic clinical scenarios in these exercises seemed to ignore a number of psychosocial educational opportunities for the students and faculty. Consequently, the nursing faculty at a private university in the northeastern United States decided to explore a strategy to increase the educational outcomes from their simulations. Faculty from the Department of Communication were invited to collaborate in a pilot study to expand the course goals, objectives, and outcomes related to human patient simulation exercises. The process involved in strategically planning the changes to the courses, interdisciplinary lectures, actor-assessments, and outcome evaluations are the focus for this presentation. In addition, the psychosocial enhancements to the students’ experiences as actors, nursing students and observers will be briefly discussed.