Using Telehealth to Enhance Pediatric Psychiatric Clinical Simulation: Rising to Meet the COVID-19 Challenge

Teresa Michelle Whited, Kimberly Stickley, Pamela De Gravelles, Taylor Steele, Beverly English


Securing clinical locations for Bachelor of Nursing Science (BSN) programs is always a complex challenge, particularly when clinical experiences are focused on vulnerable populations such as pediatric psychiatric patients.  To provide students with a meaningful clinical experience during the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed a telehealth simulation centered on a pediatric psychiatric patient with unfolding adolescent depression and suicidal ideation. This case study uses qualitative data analysis of student debriefing sessions as well as a pre/post test design to explore the effectiveness of the simulation. Results suggest that simulations can be useful for presenting unique patient scenarios focused on therapeutic communication in psychiatric assessment, particularly for vulnerable patient populations. Quantitative data analysis showed BSN students improved their understanding of communication needs of adolescents and retained their knowledge over time; qualitative comments showed that students felt the simulation was a valuable learning experience and achieved key learning outcomes.


Telehealth; psychiatric mental health; pediatrics; simulation

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