Nursing students bring their virtual a-game

The simulation game, called “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Exacerbation“ is designed for intermediate level nursing students at Camosun as well as for students at partner institutions.

Virtual Simulation

Camosun College

Camosun students film footage for the new virtual simulation game at the Alex and Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness

Nursing isn’t a game, but learning how to become a nurse at Camosun College can be one.

A virtual, made-in-Camosun solution to the reduction of in-person patient care with some patient populations during the pandemic is developing competencies related to infection control, respiratory assessment, and medication administration for current, and future cohorts, of nursing students at the college.

“We put together a total, high-impact, low-cost filmed production that aims to bridge theory and practice,” says Kerry-Ann Dompierre, Camosun’s Simulation Education Coordinator, who led the game’s development team. “The simulation shows a series of videos that play out different scenarios for the student nurses, so they see a simulated experience of a patient who’s having respiratory distress, and then they have to make a decision. Whatever decision they choose plays out to a specific outcome and they can go back and change that decision as part of the learning cycle.”

The footage for the simulation was shot at Camosun’s Alex and Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness at its Interurban campus. All the participants were either faculty, staff or students, and no outside performers were used. Dompierre believes that the Camosun-specific setting and collaborative teamwork approach has led to a more advanced and relevant educational tool.

“A big part of simulated learning is authenticity and realism,” adds Dompierre. “The incredible new centre for health and wellness at Camosun, especially the dedicated fourth floor simulation space, has all of that and I couldn’t have thought of a better place to film it.”

The simulation game, called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Exacerbation is designed for intermediate level nursing students at Camosun as well as for students at partner institutions. It is hosted on the website of the Canadian Alliance of Nurse Educators using Simulation (CAN-Sim), and under an open access, creative commons license, is available to the global medical education community for free.

“I think that’s really one of the profound aspects,” says Dompierre. “We have collaborated with an international group of educators to create and freely share a Camosun-developed resource. This in turn creates the potential for future collaborations and sharing of resources in several key areas.”

Part of the educational intervention is to research the effectiveness of the virtual simulated learning experience on student learning and confidence. Dompierre and BSN faculty - Shannon Keyser, Kaitlin Ellis and Ajijoon Shaik - are leading a research study that will be shared with health educators and CAN-Sim partners. Dompierre has big plans to build on the success of Camosun’s first ever simulation, both at the college and in terms of a broader, community application.

“It’s one of those silver linings of the pandemic that even as we transition back to more of a normal, in-person learning environment, the simulation offers a very important, intentional way of learning which I love,” she says. “It perfectly complements clinical experiences and I think the two together are ideal. In the end, we aim to develop the next generation of nurses who can handle any situation they are thrown into, pandemic or not.”

To test drive the simulation game, please visit the CAN-Sim website. For more information about Camosun’s Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, please visit the nursing department website.

Camosun, located in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, with campuses on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, is one of the largest colleges in the province. Established in 1971, Camosun now celebrates 50 years of delivering innovative, life-changing academic and applied programs to 20,000 students annually.

Contact information

Ivan Watson

Marketing & Communications Strategist

Camosun College