COVID-19 enforced change in ways universities design and deliver undergraduate nursing programmes. Students who trained throughout the initial outbreak of COVID-19 had to embrace a different learning experience both in practice and during their theory block . As the UK was reducing their restrictions on COVID-19, universities reviewed their regulatory procedures by allowing students (limited numbers per session) to return face to face on campus. A group of lecturers took this opportunity to design an interactive simulated crisis (major incident) based in secondary care.
Lecturers created a ‘snapshot’ of a major incident and created a table top interactive activity. Students had the opportunity to work as a team and take on leadership roles to solve problems and manage risk in prioritising patient care. The table top activity comprised of three rooms running simultaneously, each with its global learning outcomes using a chain of command to communicate. Students completed a post-evaluation survey and staff who participated in facilitation provided feedback on preparedness for facilitating delivery and observations of how they felt the simulation ran.
25/97 students and 7 lecturers responded. The results were analysed and are presented in a summary of findings. Findings included that simulation was a great opportunity for students to learn through a different medium, promoting teamwork to solve problems within a safe environment, and encouraging students to reflect on their and others’ performance critically . The feedback provided an important critique for developing further opportunities to improve students’ and staff experience in getting more out of the day’s activities.
Major incident simulation is perceived by both nursing students and academics as an opportunity to practise leadership, risk management, and teamwork under pressure but within a safe environment.
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