1. Hillier, Maureen DNP, RN, CHSE
  2. Lewis, Becca A. BA, MGH

Article Content

Nurses spend more time with dying patients than any other discipline, yet as students there is limited death and dying content in the curriculum. In a prelicensure program, students participated in an end-of-life simulation. Because of COVID-19, a modification to virtual instruction was needed to meet course outcomes. By upholding INACSL Standards of Best Practice, the simulation engaged 100 students in groups of 10, repeated 10 times. During the prebrief, a homework review on respiratory distress and death and dying was completed. To enhance reality, students met the patient, Charlie, via a video depicting a 76-year-old widower with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Then, the students were read the scenario while viewing a static picture of Charlie, now a 77-year-old, with a COVID-19 diagnosis, being aggressively cared for by nurses in personal protective equipment. The student huddle identified 3 priority assessments. As the huddle wound down, students were abruptly asked to accept a zoom call from the patient's only child living 1000 miles away. The tearful daughter, played by a standardized participant, sought clarification of her father's medical information and posed questions such as "What would you do?" Finally, students participated in a powerful debriefing about anticipatory guidance and requisite communication skills to support family members as end-of-life decisions approach. Virtual simulation demonstrates promise to close the theory to practice gap for health care students.