Nurse Practitioner Student Perceptions of Face-to-Face and Telehealth Standardized Patient Simulations

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Background: Telehealth standardized patient (SP) simulations offer a means of enhancing clinical education by providing nurse practitioner (NP) students with increased opportunities to interact with patients and develop a range of clinical skills, including conducting a telehealth visit, under the guidance of experienced faculty. Objective: Building on prior research comparing diagnostic reasoning outcomes in telehealth and face-to-face SP simulations, this study explored students’ perceptions of the learning experience after participating in SP encounters using both modalities. Methods: Eighteen of the 41 students from the prior study participated in structured interviews. Guided by the tenets of a qualitative descriptive design, verbatim transcripts were analyzed using a thematic analysis process. Results: Three overarching themes were revealed: adapting practice strategies for telehealth encounters, inexperience with telehealth in education and practice, and the value of SP simulation for NP competency development. Lack of physical presence with the patient in the telehealth SP simulation and the need to rely on a nurse clinical presenter to conduct the physical examination affected the way students perceived and proceeded with the clinical encounter. Students’ lack of familiarity and comfort with the telehealth SP simulation suggests the need for additional training to prepare them for this learning and care modality. Participants valued the opportunity to practice both clinical and telehealth skills, underscoring the importance of formative SP simulation in preparing NP students for successful transition to clinical practice. Conclusion: Our findings provide new evidence to guide nurse educators and regulators in considering this innovative teaching and learning modality to expand the use of simulation, augment clinical experiences, and better prepare future NPs for safe, effective practice in a technology-enabled healthcare system.




Posey, L., Pintz, C., Zhou, Q. (Pearl), Lewis, K., & Slaven-Lee, P. (2020). Nurse Practitioner Student Perceptions of Face-to-Face and Telehealth Standardized Patient Simulations. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 10(4), 37–44.

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