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Making a situation real in the classroom and providing relevance to the context of the message help students to engage and develop clinical imagination. In my fundamentals class, the students were divided into small groups and given a unique case containing patient information such as age, ethnicity, and reason for admission. Over the first 2 weeks of the course, the students developed their patient's profile including the patient's support system, type of employment, medical and social history, and type of housing. Sample patients ranged from a retired Asian man with end-stage lung cancer to a 6-month-old Caucasian boy with severe diarrhea. The students researched their patient condition determining nursing interventions that were appropriate for that week's lesson. For example, when learning about mobility, students selected nursing interventions related to mobility that were appropriate for their patients. Students role played how they would implement the interventions. The students kept the same patients throughout the course and added information to the case relevant to each week's lecture topic. The students presented their patient, interventions, and plan of care at the end of class. Photographs were encouraged in the presentations.

 

From Cynthia M. Bemis, DNP, RN, NE-BC, Clinical Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis, IN (mailto:cmbemis@iu.edu).