Plastic with personality: Increasing student engagement with manikins
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Background: Simulation allows students to practice key psychomotor skills and gain technical proficiency, fostering the development of clinical reasoning and student confidence in a low risk environment. Manikins are a valuable learning tool; yet there is a distinct lack of empirical research investigating how to enhance engagement between nursing students and manikins. Objective: To describe student perspectives of a layered, technology enhanced approach to improve the simulation learning experience. Educational Framework: Tanner's Model of Clinical Judgment underpins the entire curriculum. This study additionally drew on the principles of narrative pedagogy. Intervention: Across ten teaching weeks, five separate case studies were introduced to students through short vignettes. Students viewed the vignettes prior to their laboratory class. In the labs, manikins were dressed in the props used in the vignettes. Setting: The innovation was trialed in a second year core subject of a Bachelor of Nursing program in a large urban university in the autumn semester of 2014. Data Collection and Analysis: Following ethics approval, students were emailed a participant information sheet. A focus group of nine students was held. The discussion was digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim prior to being subject to thematic analysis. Students' comments (143) about the vignettes in their standard subject specific student feedback surveys were also considered as data. Results: Four themes were identified: Getting past the plastic; knowing what to say; connecting and caring; and, embracing diversity. The feedback indicated that these measures increased students ability to suspend disbelief, feel connected to, and approach the manikins in a more understanding and empathetic fashion. Conclusions: In addition to achieving increased engagement with manikins, other advantages such as students reflecting on their own values and pre-conceived notions of people from diverse backgrounds were realized.
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