Simulation in the classroom to make case studies come alive!

Nadine Marchi, DNP, RN, CNE, CRRN

Session Overview:
The goal of this simulation was to assist students apply concepts concerning heart failure in the classroom setting when assessing an authentic client. Increasing student engagement and critical thinking are pedagogical challenges for nurse educators. Both case studies and simulations are traditional strategies used to develop critical thinking. These two types of teaching strategies were combined in a medical/surgical classroom to increase engagement and understanding of a client with Heart Failure. Using a mask and props, one nurse educator developed an interactive case study based on a client with heart failure similar to Mask-Ed™. This instructor became the heart failure client named Minnie Paxson. Minnie is also the name of a simulator in the simulation lab so the intention was to bring Minnie to life. The masked instructor was transformed using an older, woman mask with wig, hand make-up, sweat shirt, scarf, long pants, socks with memory foam underneath around the ankles, handbag, and cane. Students were informed there would be a client coming to class to help review heart failure assessment. When Minnie walked in, she was introduced and another instructor acting as facilitator became the nurse performing a health history. Minnie responded accordingly as a client would with heart failure. The focused physical examination revealed a cough and Minnie frequently used tissues for the phlegm. Pitting edema was found upon examination of the ankles (memory foam). These abnormalities were discovered and discussed. Overall, students stated that the interactive, masked case study helped them apply classroom concepts to a real client. Critical thinking questions were asked by the students reflecting a deeper understanding of the heart failure concepts and plan of care. 

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:  

  1. Identify a practical teaching strategy to enhance student engagement using a masked educator in the classroom setting.