Home Volume: 2, Issue: Supplement 1
International Journal of Healthcare Simulation
Adi Health+Wellness
Opinion of nursing students and lecturers about visually enhanced mental simulation: preliminary results of a qualitative study
DOI:10.54531/UBZP5127, Volume: 2, Issue: Supplement 1, Pages: A88-A88
Article Type: Editorial, Article History





Simulation followed by debriefing has been acknowledged as a fundamental training approach in healthcare education as it can provide safe experiential learning opportunities. Although many institutions adopt full-scale simulation (FSS), it is very costly (e.g. specialised training facilities, simulators, …). Facilitated mental simulation which is supported by simple visual representations to involve several learners together can be used for cognitive skills rehearsal face-to-face or remotely via an online video conferencing platform. We call this approach Visual-Enhanced Mental Simulation (VEMS) [1].

This study aims to explore the perspectives of nursing students and lecturers concerning VEMS as a simulation modality.


This IRB-approved study (aHSK/PGR/UH/03692) used a mix method approach targeting 150 adult nursing students exposed on at least one occasion to either or both FSS and VEMS followed by debriefing and all healthcare lecturers from a UK-based higher education institution. For further exploration of students and lecturers’ perspectives about VEMS and its effectiveness, they were invited to take part in a telephone interview. The lecturers were from nursing, midwifery, and physiotherapy. All of them received a VEMS guide to get a better idea of what it is and so they could think about its application in their programme. Participating students had previous exposure to VEMS.

Preliminary Result:

Qualitative data of the study were analysed using thematic analysis with NVivo 12. 10 students and 10 healthcare lecturers agreed to participate in a telephone interview. Both students and lecturers positively perceived VEMS. As the facilitation method of VEMS is very similar to full-scale simulation [1,2], students indicated that they were able to practise their non-technical skills. The identified downside of VEMS is that students find it difficult to communicate with a poster while the facilitator vocalises the patient’s voice. Nevertheless, students agreed that this method was helpful to practise decision-making skills and should be more integrated into the curriculum. Lecturers found it was a cost-effective and easy to set up classroom-based activity which could be used as a learning activity. They also found various ways of remotely facilitating VEMS to overcome the challenges of delivering training while maintaining learners’ physical distancing.


VEMS provides lecturers and nursing students a cost-effective low-technology and a practice-based activity [3]. Followed by debriefing, it can be used in a nursing curriculum to mentally practise nursing skills in a safe and engaging environment. Obtaining feedback from lecturers from other disciplines can promote its use in different settings.


1. Dogan B, Pattison N, Alinier G. A form of mental simulation with significant enhancements enabling teamwork training. Int J Healthc Simul 2021;1:56–61.

2. Alinier G, Meyer J, Naidoo V, Campbell C. Simplifying simulated practice for healthcare professionals and educators. Journal of Emergency Medicine, Trauma and Acute Care. 2016 (2-International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health-Qatar Proceedings):79.

3. Alinier G, Tuffnell C, Dogan B. Simulation on a Low Budget. In Clinical Simulation 2019 Jan 1 (pp. 667–689). Academic Press.