Nurse anesthesia students' perceptions of the anesthesia patient simulator: a qualitative study

AANA J. 2002 Jun;70(3):219-25.


The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions of nurse anesthesia students (NAS) who used a MedSim simulator (MedSim USA, Inc, Ft Lauderdale, Fla) as part of their educational training. A convenience sample of 12 NAS in their first year of clinical training was researched. The researcher analyzed data qualitatively from observations made during 4 different sessions. Session 1 introduced the students to the simulator. Session 2 involved each student performing an anesthetic induction. A minor incident such as hypotension, hypertension, bradycardia or tachycardia occurred in session 3, and a major incident such as cardiac ischemia, anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, or malignant hyperthermia occurred in session 4. Data collection involved observation by the primary investigator, journal entries by the anesthesia students, and focus group interviews with the students. Results of the study indicate that, although students experience feelings of apprehension, uneasiness, or fear during the sessions, they felt it was very educational. Disadvantages include the lack of reality, lack of knowledge on handling crisis events, possibility of fixation errors, and the presence of anxiety. Advantages include improved critical thinking and decision-making skills, increased confidence, and improved clinical preparation. Results can be used to assist instructors in improving the students' learning experiences and to teach more effectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Manikins*
  • Nurse Anesthetists / education*
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*