The College of Nursing at Brigham Young University is constantly innovating. One of the most obvious ways to see this innovation is through the addition of simulations across the various semesters. For example, fundamentals of Nursing, a second-semester course in the College of Nurse, recently added a new simulation. The simulation aims to help students focus on patient communication and interaction during urinary catheterization.
The simulation uses actors, who wear artificial, external genitalia for the students to perform the procedure on. “By using standardized patients (actors) for students to practice urinary catheterization, we can add a communication dimension that doesn’t exist with manikin-based simulation,” Dr. Deborah Himes explains. “With the live interaction of this activity, students learn that there is a lot more to the procedure than maintaining sterile technique while inserting the urinary catheter correctly. Yes, all nurses are expected to keep their patients safe and prevent infection; however, outstanding nurses will learn how to talk their patients through a stressful, uncomfortable, and potentially embarrassing procedure.”
The reception to the simulation has been positive, with students praising the added element of patient communication and the feedback they get from the actors.
“I learned the importance of patient comfort as a priority. One student states that the woman I helped made a point of saying that she felt comfortable during the whole procedure, which made me feel pleased,” one student states. “I think that is a huge part of interacting with patients that I haven’t experienced with mannequins before. I also learned that I need to express confidence when interacting with patients since being nervous can make them nervous. Even if I am nervous, I should find a way to calm my nerves and show the patient that there is nothing to worry about.”
“I loved being able to interact with a real person! While it was new and made me a little nervous, I thought that I did a good job of focusing on his needs before jumping right into giving him a catheter. In the end, he mentioned that he appreciated that I came in and talked to him to help him understand what was going on before even touching the catheter kit,” another student says. “I learned that I love patient interaction, and I am looking forward to having more of it in the future! I thought that I also did a good job of doing my sterile preparation and inserting the catheter within a reasonable amount of time.”
With the great feedback, students have given the simulation, the Fundamentals of Nursing course plans to continue the simulation. Dr. Himes is also hopeful that more simulations or similar activities will be added to the course as the College of Nursing expands and innovates its program.