THE PROBLEM RATIONALE
The health care environment has drastically changed over the years with advanced technology. Several disciplines are adjusting to the changes to meet the demands that a diverse society has embraced. Among the several fields of discipline, nursing has greatly evolved especially in terms of educational practice. Traditional methods such as lecture, video presentation, and reporting may be of less significance with the advent of modern technology. The integration of technology in nursing poses a very promising impact among junior nursing students’ learning needs. It is imperative though that even with advancement; professional nurses must possess clinical competence in order to provide quality health care even with the integration of technology. Decker, Sportsman, Puetz, and Billings (2008) stated that nursing competence involves the acquisition of relevant knowledge, the development of psychomotor skills, and the ability to apply the knowledge and skills appropriately in a given context. According to National Council for State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN, 2005), competence is defined as the application of knowledge
and the interpersonal, decision-making, and psychomotor skills expected for the practice role, within the context of public health. However, there is no standardized definition of clinical competence up to date. Measures, however, to evaluate competence continues to evolve through research in an attempt to objectively measure such. It is inevitable though that clinical competence foreground rest on nursing education and an attempt to enhance such through integration of knowledge and practice early on has a direct impact in providing quality patient care. Nursing educators are constantly challenged to develop teaching methodologies that would enhance critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills prior to actual nursing practice with the advent of diverse patients. Several incidents on medication error and violation of protocols in procedures where there was a need to utilize a more in-depth analysis of patient’s problem has proven to be detrimental to client’s care. Nursing students on their clinical duties faced with the same dilemma have documented and undocumented cases of clinical errors early on, which could have been avoided if they are equipped with the necessary skills in the prompt delivery of healthcare. The advent of human patient simulators has paved the way to integrating knowledge through presentation of a realistic clinical set-up
that would enhance competence without jeopardizing client’s safety. Human patient simulators utilized in nursing education should possess engineering and psychological fidelity depicting a realistic clinical setting (McCallum, 2007). In human patient simulation, students are exposed to different clinical scenarios, which may not always be readily accessible to a clinical placement. The use of simulation in nursing education enables students to practice and correct mistakes without compromising the health and safety of the patients, thereby, producing no risks when rendering nursing care. However, utilizing human patient simulators as a means to provide a realistic clinical setting alone does not cover all domains of clinical competence. A more in-depth teaching methodology that would integrate knowledge and technology with human patient simulation should be explored further by nursing institutions.
In its effort to provide quality undergraduate nursing education, an educational institution in Valenzuela City, has consistently been focused in developing learning strategies that would address the needs of the students. To enhance the students’ strengths and capabilities, the College of Nursing Virtual laboratory was built in 2007, consisting of eleven cubicles; each simulates a hospital setting with a human patient simulator depicting an actual patient. With this type...