Using Simulation and Virtual Practice in Midwifery and Nursing Education: Experiencing Self-Body-World “Differently”

Susan James, Brenda Cameron


The journey into the world of midwifery or nursing requires the student to attend to the intertwining of self-body-world in order to shift their knowledge of self-body-world into a client/patient-centered context.

One of the teaching-learning strategies used to provide safe opportunities is the use of simulations and virtual practices. Rather than learning intimate acts of touching, or life and death decision-making in situations with actual clients/patients, students enter their learning world with rubber torsos, cloth babies, and cyber clinics. The “other” is a simulated other, not a human. How does the student shift from seeing this simulated other as object to a sense of other as subject? In our world of constant use of technology for communication and entertainment, do students shift in and out of a cyber world easily or are they more captured by the simulated experience than with the human world? Has the human world redefined itself where the intertwining of self-body-world blurs the sense of where human body ends and cyber or simulated world begins? What is the place of Bildung when engaged with a cyber other?

As a result of educational challenges, including rising enrolments, limited clinical placement opportunities, and increasing risk management concerns, there has been a proliferation in the use of simulation as a teaching strategy (Fox, Damazo, 2013; Schmitt, Gilbert, Brandt, Weinstein, 2013). This has left us –the authors– wondering about the student experience of simulation. What do they learn? How do they learn? How can this learning be applied in practice?

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ISSN: 1913-4711