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International Journal of Healthcare Simulation
The Role of Poetic Expression in Simulation Education: A Reflective Lens
DOI:10.54531/njss6069, Pages: 1-2
Article Type: Perspective, Article History

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Vage: The Role of Poetic Expression in Simulation Education: A Reflective Lens

In the ever-evolving field of healthcare education, simulation has emerged as a cornerstone for training aspiring professionals. From first-year students to seasoned healthcare teams, simulation offers a controlled, reduced-risk environment where learners can hone their skills, make mistakes and gain confidence [1]. Yet, beneath the surface of these technical exercises lies a rich vein of human experience and emotion, often unexplored in traditional educational narratives. This is where the power of poetic expression comes into play, offering a unique lens through which educators and learners alike can deepen their understanding of the simulation experience.

Poetry, with its nuanced ability to convey complex emotions and abstract concepts, could serve as a powerful tool in the simulation education arena. It transcends the mere acquisition of technical skills, inviting a reflective exploration of the deeper, often unspoken aspects of healthcare training. As a researcher, I’ve often blended art, poetry and science as a means to better understand the world in which I find myself. Writing a poem such as ‘SimMom’ has permitted me to shed light on the emotional and existential dimensions of working with simulation technology. By personifying a manikin, the poem opens a window into the silent sacrifices and unfulfilled desires inherent in the simulation process. This poetic approach can foster a heightened awareness of the human elements at play in simulation-based education. Encouraging educators and students to recognize and reflect on the emotional and ethical implications of their actions, even in a simulated environment. The empathy and insight gained through such reflections are critical components of healthcare professionalism, enhancing the capacity for compassionate, patient-centred care [2].

Furthermore, incorporating poetic expression into simulation education may stimulate critical thinking and emotional intelligence, key competencies for healthcare professionals facing complex, high-stakes decisions. Poetry prompts learners to question and interpret, to see beyond the procedural and into the personal and societal impacts of their work. It can serve as a catalyst for discussion, encouraging the sharing of perspectives and fostering a sense of community and mutual understanding among participants [3]. The integration of poetry into simulation training may also offer a form of emotional release and support, providing a space for learners to process their feelings, alleviate stress and cope with the challenges of their rigorous schedules. Through poetic expression, the fears, anxieties and joys of learning can be acknowledged and shared, potentially reducing feelings of isolation and enhancing overall well-being.

In conclusion, the use of poetic expression in simulation education is not merely an artistic indulgence but a strategic pedagogical approach, serving to enrich the educational experience by bridging the gap between technical proficiency and the holistic development of healthcare professionals. Poems like ‘SimMom’ remind us that at the heart of healthcare education is the pursuit of understanding human experience, in all its complexity and beauty. By embracing poetic expression, we can nurture a more empathetic, reflective and resilient healthcare workforce, prepared not only to perform procedures but also to engage deeply with the human stories behind them.

‘SimMom’ by Aaron Vage

In places aglow with eager minds,

This machine’s form, a guide that binds.

Midwives learn with gentle care,

From her silence, wisdom rare.

Her arms, prepared to teach, not hold,

A story of love quietly told.

A baby’s cry she’ll never hear,

Only the mimic of life, year by year.

Each lesson given, an offered grace,

Her purpose clear in this sacred space.

But in her stillness, a hidden pain,

A longing for touch, she’ll never gain.

Her silent world, a poignant scene,

A bearer of life, in a world unseen.

She’ll never cradle, never console,

But just look at a baby she’ll never hold.



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