Chris Tanner, Michelle Kelly
and Kathie Lasater
The 3rd International Nurse Education Conference (NETNEP) was held in Sydney for 2010 and during this time UTS: Nursing, Midwifery and Health (NMH) were fortunate to host Professor Christine Tanner from Oregon Health and Science University for one week. The visit culminated in an external symposium, ‘Teaching Clinical Judgement through Simulation’, showcasing the expertise of the two international guests, Professor Christine Tanner and Associate Professor Kathie Lasater.
This symposium aimed to provide a unique opportunity to discuss and share contemporary clinically focused educational strategies with nursing academics, health care educators and clinical professionals involved in simulation, technologies and clinical education.
Convened by the NMH Director of Simulation and Technologies, lecturer Michelle Kelly, the symposium covered a range of topics around teaching and learning strategies using simulation. It also looked at possible solutions to the increasing difficulties of clinical placements, an awareness of national simulation activities funded by the Australian Governments and the educational challenges faced by most health care professionals, nursing practitioners and educators worldwide.
Drawing on international expertise, Professor Tanner spoke about possible solutions to the current challenges of health care education and the importance of nurses developing clinical judgement. She also presented on the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) clinical education redesign, one approach to provide targeted, graduated clinical experiences in the environment of shrinking clinical places available for university students’ learning experiences.
Associate Professor Kathie Lasater spoke about how one could measure clinical judgement and the development of a rubric based on focussed observations of students during simulation encounters. She highlighted the innate ability of expert nurses to make balanced judgements based not only on a patient's health issue, the environment and previous encounters and how this may assist in developing these traits in beginning nurses.
Kathie Lasater, Chris Tanner,
John Daly and Denise Dignam
Other presenters at the symposium included Faculty academics: lecturer Michelle Kelly, Associate Dean of (Teaching and Learning) Professor Denise Dignam, Lecturer Fiona Orr and Senior Lecturer Joanne Gray as well as fellow colleagues from the Universities of Wollongong and Newcastle, Australian Catholic University and St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney.
With a wide range of attendees from the NETNEP conference, nursing educators, hospital clinicians and practitioners this symposium proved to be extremely useful in sharing and developing knowledge in the field. Some of the feedback from the symposium highlighted the fact that international and local research, global information and collaboration reinforce the educational benefits of simulation, practical education methods and actual experience in helping to provide improvements in the quality and standards of our nurses and midwives in changing workplace environments.
One of the attendees from the Royal Prince Alfred Intensive Care Unit said "Coming to this symposium today has allowed me to explore new methods and ways of applying new forms of learning to our working environments. Hi-fidelity (SimMan) and low-fidelity (podcasts) allows flexibility in the way our teaching and practical situations are conducted. Within our unit experienced nurses are no longer the majority. New nurses are coming into the workplace so having these flexible learning and teaching resources would be useful in multi-skilling and broadening the knowledge within the ICU working area".
The Faculty's Associate Dean of (Teaching and Learning) Professor Denise Dignam said "The symposium offered a wonderful opportunity for discussion and exploration of some new ideas, in particular, Professor Tanner provoked many of the clinicians and academics to reconsider the relevance of current clinical placement models of delivery. This is very timely given the current workforce concerns for increasing clinical placement capacity."