"Use of Virtual Clinical Simulation to Improve Communication Skills of Baccalaureate Nursing Students: A Pilot Study"

According to The Joint Commission, a leading cause of sentinel events in the United States is miscommunication. Lack of thorough and accurate communication remains a serious challenge in healthcare and an educational priority in schools of nursing. Virtual clinical simulation is an online educational approach where students use avatars to practice various skills. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the educational innovation of using virtual clinical simulation to improve communication skills of BSN students. The objectives of the simulations were to 1) recognize significant patient data, and 2) accurately perform the ISBAR communication technique. The study used a within group, time-series design with eight students. Student participated in two synchronous virtual simulations using CliniSpace. Field notes from debriefing sessions were analyzed for content. Mean group student performance scores more than doubled from performance one to performance two. Field notes revealed that students listened to how their peers communicated and learned from them. Students expressed having less anxiety, knowing what to expect and having “better flow” with communication. Students verbalized learning to assess the patient prior to calling the physician and to give a recommendation to the physician. Data collection for this study is complete and reported in Nurse Education Today.