In the Sim Lab

October 2014Andrew Schwartz

For UC San Francisco Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) students in prelicensure courses, simulation provides valuable exposure to clinical situations, before they find themselves face-to-face with real patients.

The simulation pictured in this month’s photo essay takes place in the UCSF Kanbar Center for Simulation, Clinical Skills and Telemedicine Education. Students in the first quarter of their nursing training engage in a clinical challenge that Clinical Professor Pam Bellefeuille has designed to make their didactic training come to life.

“The idea is to engage them in critical thinking, instead of rote memorization, through a high-fidelity simulation,” says Bellefeuille, who credits Professor Emerita Patricia Benner for an approach aimed at placing all learning in the context of clinical situations, regardless of the student’s level of training.

Bellefeuille and her fellow instructors in the simulation lab are conducting a number of studies to validate whether this approach yields educational and clinical benefits – and, if it does, to understand why. What works? What doesn’t?