Nursing students use simulation to hone skills and create community

October 31, 2016

New Sim WARS event aims to connect all nursing students

Not so long ago, in a building not that far away, nursing students from every year of study prepared for an epic battle—one designed to hone their skills and forge new connections.

Sim WARS, held on October 28 and organized by the new MacEwan Nursing Student Alliance club, was created as a friendly competition where groups of four nursing students from every year of study dressed up in their Halloween best to take on simulated nursing scenarios.

“It’s a simple idea,” says third-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing student Henry Lau. “Organize a fun, competitive event where nursing students can work together as a group.”

Nursing students take to the big screen

Five teams of four students completed a 10-minute simulation in the Bodnar High-Fidelity Simulation Suite, while their fellow competitors and spectators watched remotely from the Kule Theatre. Judges scored teams based on a number of criteria, including the health assessment, practical skills and communication. The top team won both a prize and bragging rights.

Check out our Facebook gallery of photos from Sim WARS.

At Sim WARS, nursing students found themselves assessing a different type of simulator—a fallen battle victim, member of the Dark Side or even a Vulcan—but building their knowledge and skills using simulation is a mainstay of the program . The university’s Clinical Simulation Centre (CSC) currently covers nearly 30,000 square feet and has more than 16 patient simulators, trained actors and virtual patients.

While simulation itself is nothing new, connecting nursing students from different years of study is. Every semester has a new cohort of nursing students, and those cohorts rarely have cause to interact. Sim WARS aims to change that by having students from different years of study work collaboratively to solve a common situations that present themselves during patient care.

“It was a chance to showcase the awesome things that happen in the lab, and it also reflected what students see out in the field where nurses with varying levels of experience work together,” says Henry.

Colette Foisy-Doll agrees on both counts. “What better way to bring students from across the four years together than by learning and having fun, united by their common professional goals?” says the director of the CSC and faculty member in the Faculty of Nursing. “I’m very proud that our students view simulation in such a positive light.”

Sim WARS was organized as a premier event to showcase Canadian Patient Safety Week, and the hope is that it will grow into an annual event that could include other health disciplines within or outside MacEwan. 

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