As nurses, our primary role is to ensure that every patient receives the direct and proper care they need. This can only be done by being able to assess and identify their needs, develop a plan of care, and monitor their treatment to ensure positive patient outcomes. Skills that can and should be honed through simulation. That is why Sentinel U® strives to create dynamic simulated patients with robust storylines that engage and challenge nursing learners.
Whether in a virtual world or real life, each patient presents with specific symptoms and situations, and it is our job to observe, listen and respond competently and confidently. So, I thought with this being National Patient Recognition Week, it was the perfect time to introduce you to some of the unique patients you will encounter in the Sentinel U products.
I asked my colleagues to help me out by sharing their favorite simulated patient and how that character’s storyline prepares nursing learners for the real world:
- Carmen Adams from Prioritization of Care® Mental Health – Carmen is my choice. She’s a 57-year-old Black female who presents with overwhelming depression and anxiety. She highlights the importance of mental health in nursing. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States; it affects 40 million adults. Nursing students need exposure to mental health issues early on to better care for their community. Early diagnosis and effective treatment can help patients lead healthy lives.
- Mary Ellen Jackson from Sentinel Town® – Our Director of Nursing Content Development, Sabrina Cook, DNP, RN, says she was drawn to Mrs. Jackson because this patient reminds her of an elementary school teacher and lifelong role model. Now retired, Mrs. Jackson still plays an integral role in her tightknit community and retains her passion for helping others learn. Dr. Cook believes that by interacting with this patient, learners can begin to understand the cognitive changes that may occur with age, as well as the nutritional needs of older adults.
- William Townsend from Telehealth™ Medical/Surgical – As Executive Director of Learning Innovation, Trevor Rasmusson helps create and craft many of the storylines within our Sentinel U products. So, it’s not surprising that he was drawn to the dynamic character of Mr. Townsend, a sweet-natured elderly man who relies on telehealth services for treatment of Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Mr. Rasmusson believes Mr. Townsend’s story highlights the issue of technical literacy within patient populations and its impact on healthcare. He also appreciates how relatable this patient is – after all, who can turn down birthday cake?
- Jenny Clark from Interprofessional Teams® – From an educational standpoint, Jenny Clark is one of Sentinel U’s most effective simulated patients. Learners first meet Jenny as an elementary school student with ADHD. In other modules, a teenage Jenny struggles with an eating disorder. She then faces infertility as an adult. Director of Learning Innovations Ashley Gettman says she chose Jenny as her favorite patient because the character demonstrates the level of care that could be achieved when teams are able to build a consistent relationship and continuity of care with a patient over several decades.
- Candice Conway from Family Support and Home Assessments® – Sentinel U’s Director of Empowered Classroom Melissa Penner, DNP, RN, CNE, chose Candice Conway as her favorite patient experience because of the lifelike encounter learners have while completing this simulation. For this task, learners perform a comprehensive patient, family, and home assessment. Candice’s holistic profile, voice enhancements, and apartment provide rich details and reveal an array of considerations and conditions that impact her developing care plan. Dr. Penner appreciates how, after exploring and analyzing Candice’s situation and environment, learners discover the complex social determinants of health and safety issues that have a profound influence on her ability to care for her family.
John O’Malley created Patient Recognition Week to ensure that patients were recognized as the single most important aspect of healthcare. It’s a sentiment Sentinel U embodies when developing the robust patient characters our nurse learners encounter throughout our virtual simulations. To learn more about these and other patients within our simulations, request your demonstration today.