Roleplay Simulation of Therapeutic Communication for Nursing Students in a Psychiatric Nursing Course
Jacqueline M. Arnone, Richard P. Conti, and Joseph H. Preckajlo

A core competency for psychiatric nurses is the ability to effectively communicate with patients and construct a therapeutic relationship to render optimal nursing care.Opportunities to provide rich and rewarding psychiatric clinical experiences to undergraduate nursing students are encumbered by competition for specialized clinical experiences, lack of clinical sites, faculty to oversee clinical rotations, and acuity of patients. The use of simulationin nursing is common in most areas but lacking in mental health nursing. We conducted a pre-test, post-test quasi-experimental descriptive, cross-sectional design that explored whether previous research findings regarding the perceptions of Saudi Arabian baccalaureate nursing students use of roleplay as a teaching strategy in psychiatric nursing was generalizable to American baccalaureate nursing students.Data were collected using a six-item demographic questionnaire and the Psychiatric Nursing Students' Preference Survey. Data were analyzed using univariate analysis (frequencies, means, and standard deviation) and bi-variate analysis (independent t-tests and correlation). Significant differences were found for items indicating that students enjoyed roleplaying exercises, felt they were helpful in clinical and theory subjects, and enhanced critical thinking skills. No significant differences were found for GPA and any items on the Psychiatric Nursing Students' Preference Survey. The results of the present study suggest that roleplaying exercises can be a valuable teaching tool for psychiatric nursing students in both clinical and theory subjects. While the present study was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, implications for nursing practice related to the pandemic are discussed.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijn.v8n2a1