Professional Poster

Scaffolding Simulation in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Education

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Baccalaureate nursing program cohort numbers continue to increase while clinical site availability decreases, especially in psychiatric settings. To address this issue, faculty sought to incorporate meaningful simulation learning experiences to supplement hospital-based learning experiences. Scaffolding simulation experiences were incorporated into a nursing curriculum to allow students to progress in their learning despite the lack of in-person clinical experiences. Mental health patient scenarios were designed and implemented to allow the students to experience increasing complexity throughout the semester. These simulations were a success, and plans are to continue these simulations using actors from the university's drama department. The use of live actors will give the students a more realistic experience and allow drama department students to hone their skills in the process. Students from a non-healthcare field will also serve to increase awareness of mental health and hopefully improve mental health literacy in those individuals.

This Lightning Talk will discuss the scaffolding simulation design utilized along with the lessons learned through the process. The lack of in-person mental health clinical experiences has had a negative impact on many programs. Still, the author hopes that this simulation series will increase awareness of alternative learning experiences.