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Midwifery educators' experiences and perceptions following a high-fidelity birth simulator workshop

02 June 2016
12 min read
Volume 24 · Issue 6

Abstract

Background:

Uninformed adoption of simulation technology such as high-fidelity simulators may result in ineffective learning and teaching. However, in the literature little is known about specific developmental approaches to prepare midwifery educators for using this pedagogy. Aims: The overall aim of this research was to describe the experiences of midwifery educators following a 2-day high-fidelity workshop and the impact on their perceived preparedness to teach using a high-fidelity simulator.

Methods:

Qualitative data were gathered from one semi-structured focus group 2 weeks following the workshop. Thematic analysis identified emergent themes pertaining to the research objectives.

Findings:

Four main themes emerged from the data: fears regarding complex technology, time for scenario-building, opportunity for team-building, and enhancement of the curriculum.

Conclusions:

Initial face-to-face high-fidelity workshops are recommended to achieve successful integration of high-fidelity simulators into midwifery education, with supportive materials to promote continued accessibility and learning. Support from technical staff is essential.

Midwifery is a practice-based profession requiring new graduates to be equipped with the necessary practical skills to enter the profession, yet it is often not possible to provide the full range of skill-learning in the practice areas. It is known that skill-learning through simulation in midwifery is beneficial and an essential component of pre-registration curricula, as well as enhancing post-registration continuing professional development courses and individual study days (Haigh, 2007; Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2009; McCaughey and Traynor, 2010; Cooper et al, 2012).

High-fidelity simulation is increasing in popularity. Bland et al (2014) define fidelity in midwifery education as aiming to replicate a realistic clinical experience. Teaching with high-fidelity simulators has proven useful in improving clinical judgement and for teaching and evaluating some clinical skills (Harder et al, 2013), providing innovative approaches to traditional educational methods (McNeill et al, 2012).

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