Nursing studies

How a simulation exercise improved my communication skills

A learning activity with a service user helped to bridge the theory-practice gap for student Leah Butler
Illustration showing a group of people assembling a giant jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes completing an exercise can help us to piece things together. Picture: Alamy

A learning activity with a service user helped to bridge the theory-practice gap for student Leah Butler

Good communication skills are required by all nurses and underpin everything we do to ensure service users receive the best possible person-centred care. But while we can learn the theory about communication, and put it into practice in our placements, patients can be too poorly or worried, or feel too vulnerable, to offer students constructive feedback on the way they communicate.

During my second year as a nursing student at Bournemouth University, we took part in a simulated activity where we carried out an admission assessment of a service user, then handed over to our

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