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Simulation as a learning strategy: supporting undergraduate nursing students with disabilities

Authors

  • Toni Azzopardi DipHlthSc,

    Lecturer & Deputy Director Clinical Education – Simulation, Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia
    • Correspondence: Toni Azzopardi, Lecturer and Deputy Director of Clinical Education – Simulation, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Campus Bld G10 Room 15, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia. Telephone: +61 02 4570 1599.

      E-mail: t.azzopardi@uws.edu.au

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  • Amanda Johnson PhD, DipT, MHScEd, RN,

    Project Leader, Senior Lecturer & Director Academic Programs-Undergraduate
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia
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  • Kirrilee Phillips BNurs, Grad Dip Crit Care,

    Inherent Requirements Project Officer
    1. Student Equity, Welfare and Disability Services and School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia
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  • Cathy Dickson MClinNurs, RN, RM,

    Lecturer & Deputy Director Clinical
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia
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  • Cecily Hengstberger-Sims PhD, MHPEd, B SocSci,

    Associate Professor & Deputy Dean
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia
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  • Mary Goldsmith MAppPsych, RN,

    Associate Lecturer & School Disability Advisor
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia
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  • Trevor Allan BA, Dip Ed

    Head
    1. Student Equity, Welfare and Disability Services and School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To promote simulation as a learning strategy to support undergraduate nursing students with disabilities.

Background

Supporting undergraduate nursing students with disabilities has gained further momentum because of amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act in 2009. Providers of higher education must now ensure proactive steps to prevent discrimination against students with a disability are implemented to assist in course progression. Simulation allows for the impact of a student's disability to be assessed and informs the determination of reasonable adjustments to be implemented. Further suitable adjustments can then be determined in a safe environment and evaluated prior to scheduled placement. Auditing in this manner, offers a risk management strategy for all while maintaining the academic integrity of the program.

Design

Discursive.

Methods

Low, medium and high fidelity simulation activities critically analysed and their application to support undergraduate nursing students with disabilities assessed.

Results

With advancing technology and new pedagogical approaches simulation as a learning strategy can play a significant role. In this role, simulation supports undergraduate nursing students with disabilities to meet course requirements, while offering higher education providers an important risk management strategy.

Conclusion

The discussion recommends simulation is used to inform the determination of reasonable adjustments for undergraduate nursing students with disabilities as an effective, contemporary curriculum practice. Adoption of simulation, in this way, will meet three imperatives: comply with current legislative requirements, embrace advances in learning technologies and embed one of the six principles of inclusive curriculum. Achieving these imperatives is likely to increase accessibility for all students and offer students with a disability a supportive learning experience.

Relevance to clinical practice

Provides capacity to systematically assess, monitor, evaluate and support students with a disability. The students' reasonable adjustments can be determined prior to attending clinical practice to minimise risks and ensure the safety of all.

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