I am not feeling like my usual quick-bloggy self at this conference. I took a few notes throughout the day as noted below … they may not be as fulsome as my typical conference notes. My keyboard is also difficult to use so I likely have errors. My 6 year old son typically uses it and now it is a French keyboard and some keys stick. 🙁

Keynote: Zoobiquity: A Species-Spanning Look at Medical and Psychiatric Issues

Presented by: B. Natterson-Horowitz, MD

This session was very interesting. Dr. Natterson-Horowitz explained how looking beyond the human species can help us understand human physiology. A vasovagal response, for example, can be explained by looking at other species. An animal that is being hunted and becomes bradycardic can play dead thereby avoiding being eaten. Fear-induced bradycardia is common in animals. Interesting.

Women (human and animals) have been historically excluded in research, which is problematic for finding solutions to health issues. Biomimicry can help us understand women’s health. Other female animals retain fertility for decades. Understanding reproductive longevity in non-human animals may help us understand humans. Bears avoid osteoporosis despite months without weight bearing … exploring this may have impacts for human health. The Giraffe has a long neck and the highest blood pressure (making an adjusted comparison) of other animals. Giraffes have normal left ventricle hypertrophy. It is normal for giraffes to run with that level of hypertrophy is remarkable.

In the process of gaining experience animals (and humans) need to stay safe. Predator inspection is like simulation. Gaining experience under the supervision of mentors helps to improve safety for animals too.

Studying Faculty Use in Transferring Educational Best Practices Across the Curriculum

Presented by: Susan Gross Forneris, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE-A, FAAN; Bette Mariani, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN; Cynthia Sherraden Bradley, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE; Amy Daniels, PhD, RN, CHSE

This presentation was about development work on an instrument about a recently co-developed tool Educational Best Practices Questionnaire-Curriculum (EPQ-C). This work combines INACSL Standards and the NLN vision statement and focuses on debriefing. They opened by talking about the importance of debriefing, the idea that most learning happens during debriefing and summarized some other key points from the standards and vision statements (which I have read before and are worth reading). Debriefing research in 2015 looked at the importance of debriefing on learning and outcomes. They decided that they needed to advocate for consistent use of debriefing across the curriculum. Debriefing is a conversation and is the most important part of any simulation. They asked what resources are needed to really emphasize how we use it across the curriculum and teach students to be nurses.

The Educational Practices Questionnaire (EPQS) was identified as a resource to evaluate (something I missed). It is posted on the NLN website. They looked at the theoretical underpinnings of the EPQS which are from education (not nursing education) and looked at 7 principles of good teaching in the classroom:

  • Faculty-student interaction
  • Active learning (1987)
  • Prompt feedback
  • Time on Task
  • High expectations
  • Diversity

They also looked at Deifuerst concept analysis of debriefing (2009).

  • Reflection
  • Emotion
  • Reception
  • Integration
  • Assimilation

Tools are free for use on the NLN website.

They revised the instrument with permission. They provided an overview of their psychometric testing of the EPQSS and the Cronbach’s alphas were good. They added some key items to the old instrument to measure best practices in simulation debriefing. The new edits to the EPQ-C also had good Cronbach’s alphas.

Padlet of ideas for use: https://padlet.com/sforneris/dg03dcggo4y28vez

Link to Tools: https://www.nln.org/news/research-statistics/professional-development-programsresearchtools-and-instruments/descriptions-of-available-instruments-096bb15c-7836-6c70-9642-ff00005f0421 (This one will be posted in July).

Faculty Development for Incorporating Presimulation Learning and Prebriefing Using a Sim-IPE Exemplar
Presented by: Jacqueline Vaughn PhD, RN, CHSE; Stephanie Sims MSN, RN, CHSE; Robin Cunningh MSN, CNE, CHSE

I am excited to hear my friend Jackie talk about pre-simulation preparation today. Jackie has a long history in simulation. Stephanie also has a long history in simulation.

I liked that they used an exemplar to walk us through the Prebriefing best standards. Any simulation experience can be broken down into prebrief, scenario, and debriefing. There are gaps in the literature and ways to improve in prebriefing. Prebriefing can be broken down into preparation and prebriefing. They provided an overview of the 9 criteria in the INACSL best standards. This overview was helpful and I am thinking about how to do this phase of simulation better. I particularity think that psychologically safety is of utmost importance (maybe it should be criteria 1 instead of 9).

Their exemplar was an interprofessional experience with 20 athletic training students and prelicensure nursing students. Using a small group helps for piloting. They used the learner’s needs to help guide the selection of prebriefing materials. The simulation sounded very interesting! It was also guided by an interprofessional framework. Jackie uses ISBAR communication in every simulation she runs – and even with her family. She swears by it’s effectiveness. I liked that the included time for students to get to know each other. They talked about the need for structure and the prebrief checklist (that she tweaks for every simulation).

The assumption: We believe that everyone participating in the simulation is intelligent, capable, cares about doing their best and wants to improve. (That is a quotation but my keyboard isn’t working)

Students really enjoyed the prebrief and getting to know each other. Jackie recommends open-ended questions in survey evaluations to get to know what students think.

Benefits of a thoughtful prebrief include decreased anxiety and stress, engagement, confidence, and improved debriefing.



Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit http://nursekillam.com/.


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