Background Verbal communication skills are use during health assessment by nursing students frequently, the question is: “Are their explanations sufficient for the patient to understand?” This pilot project focused on the ‘Human factor’, using a Masked academic, acting as a realistic patient with a background of nursing, facilitating learning from a wealth of experience. To set the scene a GP room, the presence of a masked character educated a small group of students, giving their own definitions of their illness, highlighting how to appropriately answer a patient’s questions. At the end of the session the character demasked and gave feedback on refined interpersonal interactions, associated with the correct explanation and terminology of the questions asked by the patient. The human factor associates with present-day thinking around simulation and contextualisation of health assessment. It offers a theoretical framework to address the real challenges of students faced with patient contact.
Methodology A qualitative methodology was used, with a sample of 90 students. Students were provided with the opportunity to reflect upon their knowledge base using a pre-questionnaire. On arrival of the character, two students performed a health assessment on the patient, whilst the remaining students reflected upon the patient’s lifestyle. The patient frequently asked the students questions, teaching them at the same time. On completion of the assessment, students developed an action plan. A post questionnaire evaluated evidence of learning, from their simulated experience. Thematic analysis will be used to analyse the results.
Results anticipated It is anticipated that the student’s ability to provide accurate explanations to the simulated patient, will have improved, owing to the effectiveness of the masked educator’s facilitation. The results are being reviewed at present.
Potential impact To nature a good nurse-patient relationship that contributes to good nursing care, aiming to reduce patient distress, better disclosure of concerns and more active understanding of their condition. Additionally student nurses’ will gain more confidence in explaining information to patients, in turn providing a better service for all.
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