Using Technology to Remove the Artificial Partition between Clinical Problem-solving and Leadership Decision-making

By Kandy Smith, Joseph Farmer, Mike Jacobs and Todd Harlan.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Nurse educators have used simulation such as role plays, standardized patients, and skills mannequins to foster student skill development for decades. High fidelity patient simulators (HFPS) are the newest instructional tools in health professions education. Simulation is most often applied to teaching or evaluation of technical skills. Traditionally, simulation activities have focused on skill building such as decision-making and critical thinking addressing physiologic problems and outcomes.

The transfer of knowledge via “hands-on” learning provided in high fidelity patient simulation presents the educator with instructional alternatives. Scenario design can be intentionally structured to challenge leadership decision-making and complex clinical problem-solving simultaneously. Novice learners do not always recognize the interaction and synergy created between the two. As students experience both within one realistic situation, cognitive dissonance diminishes and students can practice a repertoire of behaviors and rehearse them in an integrated encounter. Managing the patient and the environment at the same time encourages students to resolve the artificial partition between clinical problem-solving and leadership decision-making. This paper presents a learning experience designed to enhance conflict management skills and clinical management of a complex, critically ill patient simultaneously using high-fidelity patient simulators. Issues in simulation design and evaluation of the experience will be explored.

Keywords: Human Patient Simulation, Leadership Development, Conflict Management, Health Professions Education, Clinical Problem-solving, Emotional Intelligence

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.29-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.263MB).

Dr. Kandy Smith

Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA

Kandy Smith is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Her nursing career spans 24 years and includes practice in the ICU as a nurse and clinical nurse specialist, and in staff development before joining academia 14 years ago. Kandy received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Masters in Nursing from Emory University and a Doctorate of Nursing Science from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Having taught across the curriculum in both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, Dr. Smith is passionate about developing emotional competencies in nursing students and nurses in practice. She participated as a Fellow in the Helene Fuld Leadership Initiative in Nursing Education Fellowship, and has presented numerous workshops, papers and posters on the subject of developing social and emotional competencies. Research interests include leadership development.

Joseph Farmer

Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA

Joseph Farmer is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, USA. He has completed ten years of teaching in various courses in the undergraduate nursing program from Foundations of Professional Nursing in the first semester, Nursing Issues and Leadership in the fourth semester, through Aggregate Professional Nursing Care in the fifth and final semester. Mr. Farmer’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Master of Science in Nursing with a major in Community Health, and he is currently a PhD candidate in International Development. As a registered nurse, Mr. Farmer has worked as an emergency room staff nurse, clinical educator in hospital education, a research nurse, and a nursing instructor. He has also completed certification as an AIDS Care Registered Nurse. Research, presentation, and areas of interest include community health, HIV/AIDS, cultural diversity, and underrepresented populations. Mr. Farmer is a member of numerous professional nursing organizations, including the Transcultural Nursing Society and Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

Dr. Mike Jacobs

Director of Human Simulation Health Sciences Center and Chair, Adult Health Department, College of Nursing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA

Mike Jacobs is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Mike received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Masters in Nursing from the University of South Alabama, and a Doctorate of Nursing Science from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Dr. Jacobs serves as Director of Human Simulation of the Health Sciences Center at the University and Chair of the Adult Health department in the College of Nursing. He has numerous presentations and papers focused on clinical nursing topics and nursing education. Research interests include leadership development, use of simulation as a pedagogical tool in health professions education, emergency nursing, and bioterrorism.

Dr. Todd Harlan

Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA

Todd Harlan is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of South Alabama. Todd received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Masters of Science in Nursing Degrees from the University of South Alabama. He also received his Doctorate of Nursing Practice Degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Harlan teaches across the curriculum in both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs; he is a key contributor to the simulation program at the University of South Alabama. Dr. Harlan utilizes simulation to encourage the development of critical thinking skills among undergraduate nursing students at the University.

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