Unveiled and demonstrated at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) conference in 2014, vSim is a line of simulation products for nursing students to learn patient scenarios through virtual modules. Co-developed by Laerdal Medical and Wolters Kluwer Health’s Lippincott Williams & Wilkins division, the nationally recognized scenarios that vSim depicts are all tied to core nursing school curricula. They were selected to help ensure that students are prepared for all possible real-world scenarios and confident enough in their abilities to act.

Wolters Kluwer Health is a global provider of information and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry, and Laerdal Medical, is a provider of simulation solutions for healthcare.
Through combined efforts, what separates their vSim product from other medical simulation products is Laerdal’s virtual simulation technology and Wolters Kluwer Health’s curriculum expertise, the companies explain on the product site. This integration of provides every learner with a full simulation experience.

The vSim product line serves all nursing care providers and educators, from the lay rescuer to the medical professionals. A simulated curriculum with patient-driven scenarios can help to produce successful clinical patient outcomes later on in the case of most clinical roles.

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“There’s a huge unmet need for improved clinical education and for interactive activities in the classroom that are focused on patient-centered care,” Susan Driscoll, President and CEO, Wolters Kluwer Health, Professional and Education, said. “The new vSim for Nursing product provides an interactive learning experience that helps nursing educators promote better and safer patient care, and ensures nursing students are ready to practice. This is the first healthcare simulation solution to provide readily available clinical practice with fully integrated learning resources that are closely tied to the nursing school curriculum.”

The vSim for Nursing product line currently features 10 virtual simulation patients, each representing a different scenario based on the Volume 1 Complex Care Medical-Surgical scenarios. These medical scenarios were developed and endorsed by the National League for Nursing (NLN) as “critical knowledge areas for all nursing students.”

Within the range of vSim products designed to train learners in nursing skills, the following sub-specialties are offered:

  • vSim for Nursing | Medical-Surgical: Based on NLN Simulation in Education – Medical-surgical simulation scenarios
  • vSim for Nursing | Maternity: Based on NLN Simulation in Education – Obstetric scenarios
  • vSim for Nursing | Pediatric: Based on NLN Simulation in Education – Pediatric scenarios
  • vSim for Nursing | Gerontology: Based on NLN ACES unfolding cases

“The League is pleased to have contributed to this critical new product,” CEO of the NLN, Beverly Malone, said. “By working collaboratively, we better prepare nursing students for the ever increasing complexity of nursing practice and at the same time address the shortage of clinical placements.”

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How vSim works

When utilizing a product from the vSim line, users can access a variety of tools and training products online from any location and at any time. The vSim technology simulates a patient encounter using computer-animated avatars. Through introducing learners to realistic scenarios where they are responsible for making a variety of clinical reasoning decisions, healthcare concepts can be learned and practiced in a “virtual” simulation environment and without patient risk.

Beginning each scenario, learners will be given the opportunity to “meet” their patient and read an overview of their circumstances, just as they would if it were a real-life patient — rather than a simulation training product. They will also be given the option to “go see the patient” should the scenario warrant an exam.

Then they will search within the simulation to choose a desired patient interaction. For example, the learner can select the option to “wash hands first.” They will be asked to choose from a number of other safety measures throughout the scenario to ensure that they are able to follow health and safety protocols. Each scenario will present a variety of patient options, patient assessments, interventions, medication management and test and diagnostic actions are able to be selected and practiced.

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Patient records can be accessed throughout the scenario for reference throughout the experience. Through accessing their records, a learner will discover if there are any provider orders that need to be addressed. After identifying prodiver orders that require action, learners can continue to work with the patient within the simulation.

After the scenario, the participating learner will be presented with a series of suggested readings and a pre-simulation quiz. This will create an understanding of the level of knowledge and expertise a learner has before practicing on the vSim product, and assess foundational knowledge needed to per each scenario. Once the learner completes the virtual simulation module, they will then interact online in realistic patient-nurse encounters. This is when they can ask the patient questions, review a patient’s chart and make care decisions for a specific diagnosis.

Once practice on vSim has begun, the manikin itself will react to each patient-care decision. The technology will also track any actions that were taken so that they can be reviewed and measured following the scenario for personalized feedback purposes. Recorded sessions and feedback are intended to help each student identify areas of both strength or needed improvement.

If at any time a learner is unsure of how to proceed through the scenario, they can choose to “end the scenario.”

Following the virtual simulation, a post-simulation quiz will be provided to determine how the learner’s skill level has increased. Documentation activities and guided reflection questions will be provided and designed to gauge student understanding and support improved competence through remediation, and to enhance the overall learning experience.

Documentation activities and guided reflection questions are established to enhance the overall learning experience. This report is an important part of the learning process, as post-scenario records will help a participant to have their work evaluated, reflect on the results and continue improving their skills in a safe environment.

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“Educators have long been requesting the integration of simulation and classroom content, and when combined with virtual simulation, they have, in their hands, new power to transform healthcare education,” Clive Patrickson, Chief Executive Officer of Laerdal Medical, said.

Throughout the simulation scenario and curriculum, students are further granted access to SmartSense, which are links to added learning opportunities through evidence-based, point-of-care content. These links may include a fully integrated e-book as well.

Additional vSim products are currently in development for all core undergraduate nursing courses and research. The products can be purchased through Laerdal Medical or Wolters Kluwer Health sales representatives.

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