The Effects and Outcomes of Low Fidelity Clinical Simulation for Respiratory Therapy Students
AffiliationUniversity of Southern indiana
TitleThe Effects and Outcomes of Low Fidelity Clinical Simulation for Respiratory Therapy Students
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Focus: The field of respiratory therapy is a growing and demanding profession that requires a solid educational foundation that includes good critical thinking skills and the ability to quickly make correct decisions that can have a direct effect on patient care. Problem: The task of teaching critical thinking skills to respiratory therapy (RT) students is further challenged by the available pedagogical options for presenting these new ideas and concepts. Students are often challenged by the difficulty of learning complex material associated standard classroom lecture format. This research focused on low fidelity clinical simulation and how it compared to standard classroom instruction as a teaching method. This research focused on two questions that intended to investigate the use of computer based simulation as compared to a standard lecture format and how critical thinking and content retention was impacted. Question one: How does the use of online clinical simulation affect student learning and critical thinking skills? Question two: How does the use of online clinical simulation affect student perceptions and attitudes toward patient care? Context: The setting used for this research included both a standard on-campus classroom and the computer laboratory. The course of study was identified as REST 222, Respiratory Pathophysiology II with the targeted learning outcomes focused on concluding and identifying the differences in the retention of content from a standard classroom lecture to the use of computer based simulation of the same content. The aim of this study was to determine whether the use of low fidelity clinical simulation significantly improved critical thinking, clinical judgment, self-confidence, and perceptions in regard to patient care and interaction. Approach: The population for this study included second year respiratory therapy students placed into two groups. Both groups were provided with duplicate information using a standard lecture format for group one and a computer based low fidelity clinical simulation program for group two. This study incorporated a triangulation of three different data sources, which included a post-study quiz, post-study survey, and a group debriefing session to determine student perceptions and attitudes of using low fidelity simulation as a teaching method. It also determined if critical thinking skills improved with the use of low fidelity simulation. Reflection: The results of this study show positive increases in student critical thinking, clinical judgment, perceptions, and self-confidence using low fidelity clinical simulation as compared to using standard lecture as a method of teaching.