With a proven history of efficiency and efficacy towards learners, educational simulation has become an integral component of preparing healthcare professionals to work with patients. Designed for students and faculty, simulation provides a safe, secure and consistent experience with each interaction. Keep reading to see why educational simulation is better than reality for achieving healthcare practice experience hours.

1. Failure Without Consequences

Educational simulation creates a personal learning experience for each student. Attending clinicals in front of others can be a stressful experience. With educational simulation, learners can perform tasks in a safe setting without fear of failure. The opportunity to practice in a safe environment allows students to enhance learning without the risk of embarrassment. Learners also have the ability to work at their own pace, going through the same scenarios until they are comfortable.

2. The Same Experience, Every Time

In a typical clinical setting, no single experience can be replicated. With educational simulation, the experience can be the same every time, allowing students to try multiple approaches to the same problem. Virtual simulation uses a controlled environment to expose students to situations they may not encounter in a hospital or community setting. At the same time, instructors can customize assignments, matching patient acuity to student skill level. The virtual environment also helps students develop non-technical skills like communication, teamwork and decision-making, which are essential in today’s healthcare environment.

3. Safe for Patients and Learners

Certain community settings, while important, can be dangerous. With virtual simulation, learners can safely experience diverse settings that would otherwise be unsafe in real life. Students can complete clinical hours to meet course and program outcomes in neighborhoods that represent diverse populations and physical environments comparable to real urban areas. From their home or classroom, virtual simulation allows students to safely explore situations they may never see in clinical practicum.

4. Enhanced Critical Thinking

Virtual learning increases new skill retention and performance through immersive experiences that engage learners. With educational simulation, learners can develop critical thinking and awareness through the virtual setting. By making a setting as lifelike as possible, simulation brings students familiarity to a situation they might otherwise not be able to experience. For example, students can be exposed to various environmental hazards in community health simulation Sentinel City™, which utilizes a safe, virtual setting.

5. Standardized Assessment

With educational simulation, instructors have a static environment to evaluate students having the same experience. This consistent experience enables more accurate assessments. Structured simulation allows faculty to find appropriate opportunities to develop critical thinking and assess clinical decision-making skills.

Virtual simulation uses a controlled environment, curriculum integration, individualized support and defined outcomes to place students at the center of learning activities. Combined, these components enhance learning to meet the needs of contemporary healthcare education.