The experience of end of life care simulation at a rural Australian University

Pauline C. Gillan, Glenda Parmenter, Pamela J. van der Riet, Sarah Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Providing end of life care is a challenging and anxiety provoking prospect for many undergraduate nursing students and many students report a lack of preparedness in providing care. The limited availability of appropriate clinical placements limits the opportunities for nursing students to gain experience in end of life care. Advances in simulation techniques using high fidelity mannequins enable the mimicking of complex patient scenarios such as cessation of life in the provision of end of life care. A group of nursing academics at a rural Australian University designed, developed and implemented end of life care simulation to a group of 3rd year nursing students. The aim of this paper is to report on the evaluation of this educational innovation. Five major themes were identified through analysis of student evaluations: 1) Linking of theory to practice; 2) Approaching families of dying patients; 3) An encounter with death; 4) 'Hands on' experience in a 'protected environment'; and 5) Importance of post simulation discussion and debriefing. End of life care simulation has provided a valuable experience that can be difficult to obtain in clinical practice settings. However, the challenges discussed in this paper need to be taken into consideration for future use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1435-1439
Number of pages5
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


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