Nursing students’ perception of simulation as a clinical teaching method in the Cape Town Metropole, South Africa
Background. Given the pivotal role that simulation plays in teaching students clinical skills, it is important to understand the students’ perception of using simulation laboratories.
Objectives. A descriptive qualitative research design was used to determine whether participants ‘believe’ they have gained competence and confidence to assess a patient holistically.
Methods. Purposive sampling of 10 individual interviews and a focus group of 7 participants was drawn from primary healthcare students who successfully completed the programme the preceding year. Data were collected by 2 trained fieldworkers and transcribed by the researcher (NN). Ethical approval was obtained from the Health Research Ethics Committee, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa, and informed consent from the participants.
Results. The data that emerged from the data analysis were coded and categorised into themes and subthemes. The following 5 themes emerged: simulation as a teaching method; a manikin offering effective learning; confidence in clinical practice; structure of the course; and a support system. The researcher compiled a written account of the interpretations that emerged from the data analysis and verified these with the fieldworkers. Furthermore, member checking was done on 2 of the participants from the focus group and 2 of those from the individual interviews to validate the transcribed data. The findings suggest that the manikin should be upgraded regularly and be able to register a response. Data showed that the students are in favour of simulation as a foundation phase in their programme, but preferred to be introduced to a human being.
Conclusion. Simulation as a clinical teaching method ensured a good foundation phase, but students felt more competent and confident after practising on humans.