By Alaina Herrington and Julie Poore
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about the word fidelity and whether we should even use it to describe simulation modalities. To some the word is synonymous with a high level of technology, while others – like us – equate fidelity to the degree with which a simulation mimics reality. For example, if the student’s objective is to complete postmortem care, a low-fidelity simulator with moulage could create a high-fidelity simulation. Setting the stage requires the simulation expert to provide the maximum degree of authenticity, but how can one achieve realism on a low budget?
The HomeGrown Solution website has several inexpensive examples. Following are some of our favorite Homegrown solutions.
Because of staff and budgetary limitations, many small simulation labs have difficulty creating realistic obese clients. This idea not only transformed an old manikin, but improved our ability to expose learners to concepts related to obesity in a realistic way, including assessment for peripheral edema in heart failure, ascites in liver failure, and overall care for a morbidly obese client. After transforming this old manikin, and realizing the educational value of having an obese manikin, we decided to maintain the moulage. Minor changes of wigs and the half mask make it easy to create a different client with little work.
Idea: Utilize disposable, inexpensive, nontoxic items to produce flexible wounds for simulation. Presentation: Utilizing nontoxic Modge Podge-Gloss, we create wounds in layers over plastic wrap. The Modge Podge takes on a bumpy appearance and becomes more realistic with additional layers. Utilizing sheets of packing foam to create jagged wound edges also adds depth. Once satisfied with the wound appearance, the Modge Podge is allowed to dry and is then embellished with acrylic paints from home and drugstore cosmetics.
The problem is to create three newborn stools for use in simulation. a) In a simulation for postpartum assessment, students receive both the mom and baby from labor and delivery (L and D) and perform the initial assessments for both. The report from the L and D nurse indicates the newborn voided at birth but has not yet had her first meconium. During the first assessment of the newborn, students find meconium in the diaper and are to include this finding during their documentation on the newborn chart. b) In a postpartum home visit simulation, students rotate through assessment stations. One station contains the three newborn stools (meconium, transitional, and breast milk) in newborn diapers. Students are asked to identify each stool.
In summary, simulation educators looking for inexpensive methods to engage their students can utilize the HomeGrown Solution website. Please submit your solutions and share by July 15.