Refreshing through use of simulation

Today I renewed my PALS certification (I passed!!). Through this experience, we practiced and tested out on mannequins. I was surprised with my feelings about the mannequins and what I learned. Because I have been in the clinical/hospital setting with real patients, I found it difficult to relate or understand what the mannequins were doing. I was so used to being in a code situation or any situation for that matter and being able to look at the patient and tell for myself what was going on. When I had to go through the steps and ask exactly what the mannequin was experiencing (such as BP, pulses, temp), I found myself more confused! It was especially hard to keep track of the mannequins progress after interventions because nothing visually changed for me. I guess I learn best, or have come used to learning through direct interaction with a patient. This is where my comfort level is. I wonder if this is because so much of my learning occurred after graduation when I was on the floor and learning as I went. Either way, I find it interesting that I am more comfortable in a real situation than in a simulated manneqin situation- this may also be because in those situations, I am more comfortable with my role. MK

I find that students also make a better connection while at their at their clinical experience with real pateints. It seems that they do struggle with role playing and learning what is real and what is made up for the simulations. In the clinical setting everything is real, they are able to see the connections of verbal and nonverbal ques from the patient. I enjoy working with students in a clinical setting. They alway say comments like "Oh, I see. I didn't get it until now". It is almost like a light bulb goes of in their head and they are able to connect the pathophysiology and assessment skills and understand the "why" questions. It is very rewarding as an educator to see that "light bulb" go off or that Ahh ha moment. crpurf

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