268075 Simulating end-of-life scenarios in teaching nursing students care of the dying patient

Monday, October 29, 2012

Barbara Young, MN, MHP, RN , Nursing Program, South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia, WA
Sharon Wallace, PhD, RN, CCRN , School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Cassey Jankowiak, RN , Hospice, Providence Sound Home Care and Hospice, Olympia, WA
When a student nurse asked instructors to develop a workshop for increasing communication skills in delivering "bad news" and to talk with patient and families concerning end-of-life issues, we turned to the theater literature as well as nursing. In an interdisciplinary effort, nursing collaborated with the drama department, and students role played together scenarios of dying patients and their families. Three published articles in the nursing literature were given to students in preparation for the workshop. A hospice nurse (a former nursing student) presented hospice care concepts the students later used in the scenarios. Drama students portrayed scenes from Shadow Box and Rabbit Hole for all to explore the depth of these issues. One scenario was written by a former nursing student of Navajo heritage. The class learned the significance of culture in end-of-life planning from a Navajo perspective. In another scenario involving breaking bad news, students approached "the patient" (played by a nursing student) to discuss his recent diagnoses of HIV/AIDS. Debriefing, led by faculty from the nursing and drama departments, took place after each simulation with nursing and drama students combined. An evaluation at the end of the day demonstrated that the time spent on this subject was a powerful learning experience for the students. "This was a meaningful day as I now think I can approach, give care to, and be with the dying patient." Another said, "This was one of the best classes of the nursing program."

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Discuss effectiveness of simulating end-of-life scenarios for care of the dying patient: An interdisciplinary collaboration with drama students using scenes from theater

Keywords: End-of-Life Care, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am professor of nursing in a community college teaching psychiatric/mental health nursing, supervising clinical students at Western State Hospital, and developing scenarios for students to communicate more effectively with the dying patient. I have presented previously at APHA in a workshop format session teaching mask making and healing which I learned from the women of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.