Incorporating the Reflective Pause in Simulation: A Practical Guide

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2020 Jan 1;51(1):32-38. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20191217-07.


Many articles exist today espousing the value of debriefing following a simulation or gaming event. Although debriefing, a reflection-on-action strategy, is important, a useful reflection strategy may accentuate the reflection-in-action process that is arguably even more important than the debriefing. In this article, we explain a concept called the reflective pause and how it can be used during simulation cases to lead the learners to the objectives and enhance the learning process. We provide a review of the literature concerning reflection-in-action and ways that the reflective pause may be used during key learning events. The reflective pause is relatively absent from the simulation-based education lexicon. Used effectively, the reflective pause may become one of the most valuable learning strategies in a simulation educator's tool belt. [J Contin Educ Nurs. 2020;51(1):32-38.].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Formative Feedback*
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational
  • Simulation Training*