In diagnostic radiography education it is unclear how simulation is utilised to develop clinical skills due to the paucity of research in this field in the UK
Student radiographers find it difficult to work with seriously ill patients, expressing shock and unpreparedness (Hyde 2015); yet as radiographers they require strong communication skills, technical skills, empathy and patience.
Simulation provides safe and effective environments for students at all levels to practise and acquire the clinical skills needed to optimise patient healthcare (McGaghie et al, 2009) thus bridging the gap between theory and practice.
This study examined the use of makeup and clinical simulation for diagnostic radiography undergraduate students in the imaging of complex care patients.
Method Participants were recruited from year 3 undergraduate diagnostic radiography students (n = 28). Pre and post questionnaires were completed to gain information related to their experiences and preparedness to undertake imaging of a burns patient. The simulation was based in the clinical skills suite, utilising silicone makeup to simulate a burns patient with complex care needs.
Video was used to capture immediate reactions and body language from the participants. Peer discussion and debrief allowed for students to explore their emotions and the experience. Focus groups were held 3 months following the simulation to evaluate any long term impact.
Results Post simulation the results appeared to show an increase in preparedness and understanding of imaging a burns victim. The themes drawn from the focus group included; learning, shock and realism. Students requested more simulation within the curricula.
Conclusion The use of makeup was cost effective, easy and a realistic tool to create simulations for complex patients. Simulation was received positively by the students and left a lasting impact, improving recall to support their learning.
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