Using Unfolding Simulations to Teach Mental Health Concepts in Undergraduate Nursing Education
Clinical Simulation in Nursing
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Nurse educators are challenged to find suitable clinical placements which allow students to develop understanding of the intricacies of mental health care. This article describes an educational innovation using simulation to teach undergraduate nursing students about mental health challenges, from diagnosis to maintenance.
A series of five unfolding scenarios replaced a traditional 6-week inpatient mental health placement. The content and process of these scenarios are described.
This allowed students to gain understanding of the trajectory of mental illness, develop relationships with clients over time, and discover the complexities of providing care for those with mental health challenges. Students reported that these simulations were highly effective.
Unfolding simulations provide an opportunity to teach mental health nursing in a manner that optimizes the learning experience while ensuring consistency of student learning.