Angela Roots, Libby Thomas, Peter Jaye, Jonathan Birns
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 20, Iss. 21, 23 Nov 2011, pp 1352 - 1356
National clinical guidelines have emphasized the need to identify acute stroke as a clinical priority for early assessment and treatment of patients on hyperacute stroke units. Nurses working on hyperacute stroke units require stroke specialist training and development of competencies in dealing with neurological emergencies and working in multidisciplinary teams. Educational theory suggests that experiential learning with colleagues in real-life settings may provide transferable results to the workplace with improved performance. Simulation training has been shown to deliver situational training without compromising patient safety and has been shown to improve both technical and non-technical skills (McGaghie et al, 2010). This article describes the role that simulation training may play for nurses working on hyperacute stroke units explaining the modalities available and the educational potential. The article also outlines the development of a pilot course involving directly relevant clinical scenarios for hyperacute stroke unit patient care and assesses the benefits of simulation training for hyperacute stroke unit nurses, in terms of clinical performance and non-clinical abilities including leadership and communication.