A mere 8 years ago, I was finishing up nursing school. About 2 semesters prior to my graduation, my school purchased 2 very cool, high-tech simulation mannequins. These were supposed to be the “best” teaching tool that could be offered in a nursing lab. The mannequins were capable of breathing, going to the bathroom, bleeding, vomiting, even giving birth. What better way to learn than to practice as close to real-life scenarios as possible without actually practicing on real patients!? Well, I actually wouldn’t know.
Why? Because there were no instructors who received training to be able to operate these mannequins. And so we missed out. We missed out on skill acquisition, developing of critical thinking and clinical judgment, and also on dealing with complex nursing scenarios. We got these skills and experiences in our real-life clinical experiences, but our school was putting patients at unnecessary risk by having us practice on them rather than using the new technology at the school.
Technology is a tricky thing….it requires constant learning to be able to keep up. Unfortunately, my instructors at that time weren’t up to the task. But instructors especially need to keep up if they want to provide the best learning possible to students.