Science / Technology and Health

Seattle U in the News: Nursing's Adaptation of its Hands-On Patient Simulation to a Virtual One a Resounding Success

July 10, 2020

Puget Sound Business Journal story examines how higher education has adapted traditionally hands-on learning to virtual simulations.

Here are excerpts from the story about the Seattle U Nursing program's move to a virtual patient simulator for training students.

“Over the course of eight hours, Seattle University nursing students meet in small groups, break apart to take care of two patients each and reconvene with their peers at the end of the day to debrief – and it all happens virtually.

“In an online nursing simulation, students are challenged to prioritize, use skills they’d need in the real world and manage complexity of care, Clinical Performance Lab Director Dr. Carrie Miller said.

“’In many ways it’s where gaming technology meets clinical care,” Seattle University College of Nursing Dean Dr. Kristen Swanson said. “You can make a successful decision, or you can make a not-good decision, and you’ll know it pretty quickly. And the screen will give you an opportunity to (think about), how would you have done that differently?”’

“The transition to virtual simulations in place of hands-on learning is one of myriad ways Seattle University and other higher and continuing education institutions dealt with the suspension of in-person courses in the spring as Covid-19 spread locally.

“Miller said Seattle University’s virtual nursing simulation was a “resounding success” – 92% of students felt their experience was positive, she said. Even after Covid-19, she expects virtual simulation will continue to be part of the curriculum.

“’They were able to develop their learning and were able to manage nursing care of complex medical conditions that, ironically, they would never be allowed to manage in the clinical setting,” Miller said. “So there was this incredible eye-opening experience for our students and also for the faculty that there is a place for online education and virtual simulation.’”