Original Research

Simulations as a mode of clinical training in healthcare professions: A scoping review to guide planning in speech-language pathology and audiology during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Nabeelah Nagdee, Ben Sebothoma, Milka Madahana, Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Nomfundo Moroe
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 69, No 2 | a905 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v69i2.905 | © 2022 Nabeelah Nagdee, Ben Sebothoma, Milka Madahana, Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Nomfundo Moroe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 January 2022 | Published: 02 August 2022

About the author(s)

Nabeelah Nagdee, Department of Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Ben Sebothoma, Department of Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Milka Madahana, School of Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Department of Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Nomfundo Moroe, Department of Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Simulation plays an important role as an alternative method for training of students, particularly in health education. As a result of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions of face-to-face interactions, traditional teaching methods have been disrupted, increasing the need for alternative methods to supplement modes of student clinical training in healthcare programmes.

Objectives: The scoping review aimed to determine what has been documented about simulation as a mode of clinical training in healthcare professions (HCPs) in order to guide speech-language pathology and audiology (SLP&A) professions during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Method: A scoping review was conducted. Electronic bibliographic databases including Science Direct, PubMed, Scopus MEDLINE, ProQuest, Google Scholar and WorldCat were searched to identify peer reviewed publications, published in English, between January 2011 and December 2021, and related to the use of simulation in HCPs clinical training programmes.

Results: A total of 32 articles met the inclusion criteria for this scoping review. Three themes emerged when reviewing the studies: (1) face-to-face simulations as a mode of clinical training, (2) virtual reality simulation and telesimulation as modes of clinical training and (3) simulation as a complementary mode of clinical training. Evidence suggests that whilst simulations are cost-effective, accessible and efficacious as clinical training modes, they need to be combined with other modes of training such as the traditional clinical training to yield better learning outcomes.

Conclusions: Current findings highlight the role and value of simulation as a clinical training mode during COVID-19 and beyond. However, there are aspects that need to be considered to ensure that this mode of clinical training is effective, with endorsement and regulations by the SLP&A Professional Board of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Simulations need to be complemented with traditional clinical training methods. In the context of SLP&A, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), simulation can be used to better prepare students for their clinical placement where clinical training platforms are limited and where simulation combined with teletraining or telesupervision can be utilised to increase access to training.


Keywords

audiology; healthcare professionals; clinical training; COVID-19; simulations; speech-language pathology

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