Background The use clinical simulation as a teaching and learning approach has become embedded across undergraduate healthcare programmes within the United Kingdom. Students have become increasingly exposed to realistic, interactive strategies and technical resources since the advent of medium and high-fidelity patient simulators.1
Despite the advancements in the range of equipment the simulation suite can feel unnatural and too sterile. This lack of realism can potentially lead to student limited engagement within the total simulation experience. Although a safe and protective environment, it can be viewed as artificial from the realities and distractions within clinical practice.
Description of innovation In order to enhance the immersion of students within the simulated learning environment a team of lectures at the University of Derby developed a series of audio recordings undertaken within varied clinical settings. These recordings were then reviewed and edited to maintain anonymity and confidentiality. The final recordings were then utilised by facilitators as part of the simulated learning environment and were played on an audio loop system providing continual clinically realistic background noise.
Improvements/outcomes Student action significantly altered with the introduction of the audio recordings within simulations as they appeared to become more engaged with scenarios and greater awareness with the wider environment. Subsequent feedback also highlighted that they felt the whole experience had become realistic and challenging. This was despite the fact that they did not have to engage or directly respond to these versions of audio recordings.
Take home messages The use of background audio can potentially intensify perceptions of realism. This is a relatively cost effective intervention in comparison to other approaches to enhance immersion within simulation environments. This presentation will detail the process of developing the audio recordings together with the challenges that the team faced in developing this initiative.
Solnick A, Weiss S. High fidelity in simulation in nursing education: a review of the literature. Clin Simulat Nurs Educ. 2007;3(1):e41–e45
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