Doctoral Degree in Nursing for Mosotho Student
Investigations by a student from Lesotho resulted in the development of a model to guide the implementation of Simulation-Based Education (SBE) in under-resourced Nursing Education Institutions in Lesotho using an explanatory mixed-methods approach.
And the study also resulted in the student, Dr Pule Moabi, graduating with a doctoral degree!
Moabi, a principal nurse educator at the Scott College of Nursing in Lesotho, said he was over the moon about the achievement. ‘I am planning to enrol for a post-doctoral programme in order to improve my research abilities. I also hope to continue to publish research papers in accredited journals and disseminate research findings via research conference presentations.’
Supervised by Professor Fikile Mtshali, Moabi’s findings revealed that the successful implementation of SBE required buy-in from key stakeholders into the strategy’s policy as well as budget to support policy implementation, competent facilitators, and a well-resourced clinical skills laboratory, providing an immersive, safe, and risk-free learning environment for students to facilitate the development of the required competencies.
‘The model that emerged from the study shows that implementation of SBE is collaborative in nature, with multiple actors at various levels, including strategic, tactical and operational,’ said Moabi.
‘The process is characterised by a variety of stages, including adopting, introducing, and implementing simulation-based education. The education takes place in a simulated environment which is used for deliberate practice, and the environment serves as a connecting bridge between theory learned in the classroom and clinical learning and practice in real-life settings such as hospitals,’ he said.
Simulation-based education promoted the development of discipline-specific competencies and transferrable skills such as critical thinking, clinical reasoning skills, decision making, problem-solving and teamwork.
‘The goal is for Nursing Education Institutions to produce competent graduates who will be able to provide quality and safe care to health services users including communities,’ explained Moabi.
According to Moabi, this is a novel study that focuses on SBE in under-resourced Nursing Education Institutions (NEI) where various challenges exist when implementing the strategy such as: not using real medical equipment and supplies during simulation; delays in repairing manikins which have been reported to be malfunctioning; no formal guidance on how many clinical hours a Nursing student needs to spend in the simulation laboratory, and students being assessed only on how to carry out “procedures” with critical thinking, decision making, problem solving and teamwork being ignored.
The 34-year-old graduate encountered a variety of challenges during his study, including being infected twice with the Coronavirus, having to isolate on both occasions and suffering a great deal of psychological stress.
‘The long-term effects post-COVID-19 slowed my progress. On one of the good days, I lost a recorded interview and had to re-do the whole thing.’
Moabi said he enjoyed his study experience at UKZN and the Institution served as a learning laboratory where he was pushed to develop personally, professionally and as a researcher.
‘The support I got from my supervisor, Professor Fikile Mtshali, was amazing - she provided constructive feedback whenever I needed it and perhaps more importantly through her I developed a culture of reading scientific work that facilitated my growth and gave me an in-depth understanding of my area of research. Through the UKZN experience I have managed to publish articles in peer-reviewed journals,’ he added.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan