The Importance of Virtual Patient Situations

The Importance of Virtual Patient Situations

In nursing education, simulation offers a close representation of real care situations. It can be classified based on how much it looks like a real situation: very real, somewhat real, or not very real. Simulation also helps students practice their clinical judgment in a safe setting, preparing them for real-life clinical situations. Virtual patient simulations are considered very realistic and interactive, making them high-fidelity simulations that provide a lifelike learning experience.

Virtual patient simulations have shown to be as good as or even better than other high-fidelity traditional simulation methods. Here are some main points from Shadow Health’s Research Report on Using Virtual Patient Simulation instead of Traditional Clinical Hours in Nursing Education that explain how virtual patient simulations can help students develop their clinical judgment skills.

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Simulation Learning System (SLS) as an Alternative Clinical Experience

Advantages in the Classroom

– Research indicates that virtual patient scenarios can be more true-to-life and challenging compared to manikins or standardized patient actors. They allow for creating scenarios that focus on specific features or skills that might not be possible otherwise. For instance, they can show abnormal heart rhythms or unusual breathing sounds.

– In online or blended programs, high-fidelity manikins might not be the best option to replace clinical hours. Virtual patient simulations can be used by any student, no matter where they are learning.

– Setting up and maintaining simulation labs with high-fidelity manikins can be expensive, involving specialized faculty and technicians. Scheduling can also be complex, especially for face-to-face nursing programs with many students. Typically, simulation groups are small, with no more than eight students.

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Engaging Students

To learn more about how virtual patient scenarios like Shadow Health can enhance your students’ clinical judgment skills, read the whitepaper here.

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