People in front of an ambulans.

Wrong medication, acute abdominal problems, and home healthcare – SimCamp 2023 provided nursing students with practice in their upcoming professional role

Learning one's future profession through simulation exercises is a rewarding element of education. Nursing students Josefin Stridsberg and Linus Krossler experienced this when they participated in SimCamp 2023 in Stavanger, Norway for a week. The intensive course was organised by Nordplus and students from nursing programmes in Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Finland, and Denmark took part.

Simulation is a way of recreating reality in a controlled environment. During the five-day course, students got the opportunity to try out simulation exercises in home healthcare, acute abdominal problems, and the dilemmas that arise if a patient is given the wrong medication.

“What I bring with me is how important simulation is in education and how much more you remember when you get to perform tasks instead of just reading and writing about it”, says Josefin.

The students used various methods, such as ABCDE, which is an approach to systematically assess and act in an organised way in different patient situations. The ISBAR method was also used to make communication around a case clear and safe. In some cases, dolls were used as practice objects, while in others, the students themselves acted as patients.

“On the second-to-last day, we did simulation exercises that the different groups put together, and wow, what a success it was”, says Linus.

Both Josefin and Linus reflect on the similarities in healthcare between the different countries and that all 35 participating students had great empathic ability and willingness to help others and make a difference in healthcare.

“I learned how important acute assessment is, and I have already started thinking about it when I work at the hospital. I also bring with me how much you can learn in a short time from all the incredibly talented teachers and students from other countries. Getting the opportunity to learn about the thinking and healthcare work of other countries is incredibly fun and rewarding”, Linus continues.

What Josefin appreciated most from her days in Stavanger were all the discussions that arose around similarities and differences in nursing education and the healthcare profession. She believes that SimCamp opens up opportunities to work abroad in the future, thanks to the contacts she established during the course.

“This opens up so many opportunities to learn from each other! Through SimCamp, I have had a lot of fun, met lots of wonderful people, and developed in my future role as a nurse”, Josefin concludes.

The University of Stavanger has written a news article about SimCamp 2023, which can be read here.

Next year, SimCamp will take place in Denmark.