My Opinion on Simulation Lab

  1. In the simulation lab, there are these one-way mirrors, and it's set up so that instructors are sitting in a room watching you through those mirrors, but you can't see them. Creepy much? It makes me so nervous that I can't think straight. This means I tend to do some really stupid things that convince me that I'm going to be a horrible nurse. Plus, in the "hospital room" when we are with the "patient" (a mannequin), we also have an instructor standing in there watching us. The instructor isn't allowed to say anything or to help us with the scenario, but he/she stands there watching us like a hawk. Again...unnerving and creepy. I think the idea behind simulation is great. We get to practice situations that we may see in real life in an environment where we can't actually hurt a live patient. We're able to make mistakes because mannequins, unlike people, can always be brought back/fixed if we accidentally harm/kill them. We basically have to be drama majors because we have to pretend and act as if the mannequins are real. This isn't something I'm good at because I have no "imagination". I feel so strange talking to a horribly overpriced doll. For me personally, my nervousness at having my every move watched and critiqued combined with my lack of imagination keeps me from getting everything out of simulation that I could be getting out of it. I think being in the actual clinical setting creates an environment that is more conducive to learning. The one thing I do really like about simulation is the debriefing we have afterwards where we just talk about the scenario we did including what we did right, what we could have done better, etc. I learn the most from that. What are your thoughts on simulations?
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    About missnursingstudent19

    Joined: Jan '16; Posts: 106; Likes: 47

    11 Comments

  3. by   mejsp
    Our skills lab from the old days was pretty primitive, but I later worked as an instructor with a high-tech one. Chloe, I believe was the childbearing one. Your example sounds different. We had a lot more play time. You are right. It does bring out the acting skills. The funniest part was when you asked a student to be a patient and they hammed it up. The one-way mirror would bother me. The no-talking instructor sounds like something we'd do for check-offs, but that would occur after the student had many opportunities to practice. The lab was open after class for those who needed additional confidence building.

    You have an imagination! Every time you read something you envision the characters, the setting, etc. However, you may not enjoy acting. This is something which may increase your appreciation for simulation lab. Do you know how we practiced bed baths? We bathed each other! Luckily I had a friend in the class, a study partner/co-worker. Talk about embarrassing!

    Do you know what I like best about you? Your humility. Your anxiety makes me believe you are taking the job seriously. An arrogant, I know everything attitude is a dangerous thing for a new student. Your insecurity means this is important stuff and I want to get it right.

    Once I heard this comment in the simulation lab. "If a patient asks the student nurse, 'Have you ever done this before?' he/she can say yes." And as you've probably found out in clinical many procedures are easier on patients than the mannequin.

    Good luck with your studies and I hope the simulation lab becomes more fun for you.
  4. by   missnursingstudent19
    Quote from mejsp
    Our skills lab from the old days was pretty primitive, but I later worked as an instructor with a high-tech one. Chloe, I believe was the childbearing one. Your example sounds different. We had a lot more play time. You are right. It does bring out the acting skills. The funniest part was when you asked a student to be a patient and they hammed it up. The one-way mirror would bother me. The no-talking instructor sounds like something we'd do for check-offs, but that would occur after the student had many opportunities to practice. The lab was open after class for those who needed additional confidence building.

    You have an imagination! Every time you read something you envision the characters, the setting, etc. However, you may not enjoy acting. This is something which may increase your appreciation for simulation lab. Do you know how we practiced bed baths? We bathed each other! Luckily I had a friend in the class, a study partner/co-worker. Talk about embarrassing!

    Do you know what I like best about you? Your humility. Your anxiety makes me believe you are taking the job seriously. An arrogant, I know everything attitude is a dangerous thing for a new student. Your insecurity means this is important stuff and I want to get it right.

    Once I heard this comment in the simulation lab. "If a patient asks the student nurse, 'Have you ever done this before?' he/she can say yes." And as you've probably found out in clinical many procedures are easier on patients than the mannequin.

    Good luck with your studies and I hope the simulation lab becomes more fun for you.
    Yes, it was exactly like check offs! That was odd because we weren't told exactly what to expect. This wasn't intended to be a check off - they told us that it was ok to make mistakes because they would rather us make them in sim lab than in real life. I think, since it wasn't a check off, I would have gotten more out of it if the instructor had been allowed to talk to us and help us think through things if we got stuck. And thank you, hopefully it will become more fun as I gain more confidence in my abilities!
  5. by   Orion81RN
    Hated them. Hated, hated, hated them. The idea is great. But, I have major performance anxiety, and do terribly being watched. They video taped ours and had us watch them afterward, which was humiliating to me. My instructor actually told me I wasn't going to be a good nurse and wouldn't make it through the program. I had another instructor whom I confided this in (after I graduated and was getting a letter of recommendation from) and she told me, "Screw her. You did awesome in my clinicals."
  6. by   Cuttykupcake
    I wasn't a fan of sim lab. I'm not a good actress and felt so uncomfortable talking to a dummy or rubber body part. I'd have liked it without all the role-playing and ********** from others in the class who acted like they were the instructors.
  7. by   pixierose
    I loathed sim lab.

    But my instructor had a great sense of humor. She was (is) one of my neighbors, knew I could take a joke ... and to relieve some of the anxiety, would play a prank on me for the groups' entertainment.

    First Sim: I was chosen first ... I walked in, introduced myself to the "patient" ... and the patient screamed (blood curdling).

    Second Sim: I was chosen first ... I walked in, introduced myself .. the "patient" said something so quietly that I couldn't hear so I got up close ... and the "patient" screamed ... (blood curdling).

    Third Sim: I was chosen first (sigh). I'm catching on, though! Got through the introductions, started my assessment... blood curdling scream as I started to listen to lung sounds (sigh).

    Add several more sims ... rinse and repeat. Various shock screams.

    I loved that instructor.
  8. by   gM_2010
    Guess what-every move you make and everything you do in the "live environment" is scrutinized just as closely as the SIM lab. Get used to it.
  9. by   Mavrick
    I can totally feel for your confusion and anxiety level being raised by a simulation session. We have to use the things when we renew ACLS certification and it is absurd and pure stupid.

    BUT .... we still have to do it.

    Your horribly overpriced doll is a tool that you must master, like a keyboard or an app. It has rules that have nothing to do with actual people/patients. Pretend to talk to it, insert tubes and palpate pulses etc. You don't have to worry about hurting it or it's feelings and you can stop mid procedure to regroup your thoughts without looking like a spazz.

    You are just going through the motions to build your confidence. You will learn infinitely more on the real deal.
  10. by   WanderingWilder
    I agree I hate them. I always forget the things we should ask and you are lucky if you can understand the responses you get anyway. I also am not a good actor and I just feel foolish. I have no problem with a live patient though. Luckily at my school you really can't fail the sim lab unless you just refuse to try.
  11. by   Orion81RN
    Quote from gM_2010
    Guess what-every move you make and everything you do in the "live environment" is scrutinized just as closely as the SIM lab. Get used to it.
    That is not the same as performance anxiety. I have no problem doing my job in front of people. Its when being graded that anxiety rises. I never got over performance anxiety, but guess what? I get THROUGH it and still accomplish what needs to be done. Like train ups at work showing my nursing supervisors trach changes, G-tube changes....I have anxiety, and I don't need anyone telling people like me to get over it. I get through it, and that's enough.
  12. by   verene
    I actually enjoyed sim. The first few times it was anxiety producing because of being on camera and knowing everyone was watching, but ultimately it became fun. It's a time to dive in and do your best with out the potential for catastrophe (e.g. the patient can't actually die). Yes, it pushed me out of my comfort zone but that is the point of sim - to push your comfort zone in a "safe" setting, so you can experience that anxiety and adrenaline and learn from it before actually going through the scenario for real with real patients and real stakes.

    I really enjoyed both watching others (and learning from both their strengths and mistakes) and from the debriefing sessions we had afterwards.

    And no, I'm not an actress at all, and sometimes the most stressful part of sim is getting something down in the real world and then realizing it doesn't work the same way in sim land, but it is what it is. As a tip for having faculty in the room I usually just pretend they are a family member of the patient. I have no problem providing care in front of families and sticking them in that spot mentally both helps me remember to verbalize my practice aloud (after all families and patients appreciate explanation of what you are doings and patient/family education is fun for me) and keeps me calm.
  13. by   Orion81RN
    Quote from verene
    I actually enjoyed sim. The first few times it was anxiety producing because of being on camera and knowing everyone was watching, but ultimately it became fun. It's a time to dive in and do your best with out the potential for catastrophe (e.g. the patient can't actually die). Yes, it pushed me out of my comfort zone but that is the point of sim - to push your comfort zone in a "safe" setting, so you can experience that anxiety and adrenaline and learn from it before actually going through the scenario for real with real patients and real stakes.

    I really enjoyed both watching others (and learning from both their strengths and mistakes) and from the debriefing sessions we had afterwards.

    And no, I'm not an actress at all, and sometimes the most stressful part of sim is getting something down in the real world and then realizing it doesn't work the same way in sim land, but it is what it is. As a tip for having faculty in the room I usually just pretend they are a family member of the patient. I have no problem providing care in front of families and sticking them in that spot mentally both helps me remember to verbalize my practice aloud (after all families and patients appreciate explanation of what you are doings and patient/family education is fun for me) and keeps me calm.
    THIS! The more you expose yourself to these high adrenalinr situations, the more comfortable you will become over time. I recently mentioned exposure therapy regarding performance anxiety in another thread. The idea is that we first expose ourselves in a simulated situation. You repeat exposure throughout your nursing program and become more comfortable so you can do it on the job in the real world. My scenario, the "patient" came in to the "ED" with anaphylaxis. Talk about high adrenaline in a real life situation!

    I just personally hated it because my instructor and I did NOT get along. She was flat out nasty to me. We only did sim lab ONCE. I didn't get the benefit from it that is the point of the whole thing. I just got berrated for not being able to role play. I am horrible at role play. I wish I had many more opportunities to utilize what could have been a great tool with a different instructor.

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