The purpose of the clinical skills labs is to facilitate students clinical learning in nursing and midwifery. It provides a safe and realistic environment for students to practice, experiment, make mistakes, and learn. It facilitates the opportunity for students to recognise gaps in their knowledge and experience and to identify their own learning needs.
The simulation wards are about presenting theory in a practical real-life scenario. It facilitates open discussions and encourages student involvement in problem solving tasks. A great emphasis is placed on active learning. One principle we apply to our simulation environment is the theory of experiential learning. This denotes the ability to transfer theoretical knowledge and to apply it to a practical setting, leading to the acquisition of knowledge (Kolb, 1984).
Learning is promoted by enabling students to reflect on their practice and by providing feedback from observations of their skills by peers and academic staff through debriefing. Feedback and formal assessment of clinical skills is also facilitated by utilisation of sophisticated audio-visual technology. We also actively engage with our clinical partners to ensure alignment between our skills teaching and the needs of the nursing and midwifery professions.
Clinical skills education training incorporates technical and non-technical skills in nursing/midwifery education. This includes a variety of tasks for example: cognitive, perceptual, procedural, technical, motor, reasoning, problem solving, decision making and social interaction individually and as a team to promote patient and family centered care. The team at UCD implement a variety of pedagogical approaches to facilitate this training.