Improving Student Confidence in Communication: A Simulation Intervention
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Communication skills are a vital part of nursing practice. After graduation, many new nurses identify professional communication skills as inadequate in their nursing education. The final clinical capstone experience in nursing school can allow students to explore clinical practice before graduation. The purpose of this quasi-experimental evidence-based improvement project was to develop student confidence in communication skills so students could communicate effectively with preceptors, providers, patients, and families. Thirty-six senior nursing students were invited to participate as a part of preparation for their final clinical capstone experience. Thirty-three students participated in the project. The intervention was a simulation scenario with a focus on communication skills and the care of patients. The outcomes measured were communication skills and professional confidence. The Communication Skills Attitudes Scale (CSAS) and Nursing Anxiety and Self-Confidence with Clinical Decision Making (NASC-CDM©) tools were used as measures. Although findings from this project revealed no change after the intervention, this project provided the groundwork for ongoing development of curriculum related to communication skills. The value of student experiences in simulated clinical situations and the practice of communication skills during their capstone experience cannot be underestimated. Well-developed communication skills can have a positive impact on nursing role transition and confidence in working as a part of the health care team.
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