Simulations used as an educational strategy can mimic clinical reality bringing real life activity into the learning environment. This paper presents a conceptual approach to simulation development and validation that is applied to develop assessment simulations for both childbirth and triage situations. A process-based method of presenting information to the learner in the assessment phase is incorporated in simulations developed from actual clinical cases. The uncertain conditions of assessment are recognized as mirroring practice reality and validation of this construct and that of expertise are considered. Use of these simulations has the potential to provide learners with the opportunity to experience dimensions of simulated practice reality and educators with an experiential strategy that can be used to prepare students and also clinicians who are unfamiliar with new clinical practice areas.
Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.