Novel Approach to Teaching Critical Thinking and Diagnostic Reasoning Skill to Adult Gerentology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners

Friday, April 24, 2015
Key Ballroom 11-12 (Hilton Baltimore)
Helen Brown, MS, ACNP-BC, FNP-, BC, Advanced Practice Nursing, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Nationally recognized academic centers are becoming reliant upon innovative technologies for the delivery of instruction and for assuring competency of the learner. Education is continuously evolving as new modalities emerge presenting innovative methods of learning. Simulation is an effective teaching strategy for the academic preparation of graduate advanced practice nursing students. The Institute of Medicine, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Joint Commission support the use of simulation as an educational tool for enhancing patient safety. Simulation can be useful for teaching decision making, critical thinking skills and clinical management skills as well as complement practical clinical experiences. Low fidelity simulation provides an opportunity for the student to experience a realistic situation requiring the assessment, diagnosis, and management of a patient in a clinical scenario.   Using the case study format the clinical situation unfolds providing the student with opportunities to use diagnostic reasoning skills to develop a differential diagnosis, determine appropriate diagnostic studies, and implement a plan of care.  Simulation offers a safe learning environment for graduate students to develop effective critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills.  Low fidelity simulation offers a learning environment where symptom recognition, diagnostic data interpretation can assist the student in developing the skills needed to determine a diagnosis.  It also is a mechanism to expose the student to low frequency high acuity events which required diagnosis and management. High and low fidelity simulation can provide a successful platform where topics such as interdisciplinary professionalism, resource utilization, and patient disposition can be taught. The graduate student has an opportunity to apply critical thinking skills and develop the self confidence needed to provide safe high quality patient care.

The purpose of this offering is to demonstrate the use of low fidelity simulation in the education and preparation of advanced practice nurses to ensure optimal patient outcomes.  Participants will be energized to incorporate simulation into skills training and education of graduate students.