Research shows that age simulation suit experiences enable participants to empathize with life in old age. The more empathy health occupations workers have for their elderly patients, the better care they will provide.
As the elderly population grows and demand for health care professionals trained to work with this population increases, tools like age simulation suits will become more and more important for nursing and health care education programs. So how could you use a geriatric suit in your classroom?
We asked educators who use our RealCare™ Geriatric Simulator in nursing and health care programs to share the creative ways they’re using the suit. Read on to learn what they shared!
1. Group experience. When groups of students experience an geriatric suit together, conversations are enriched. Students are able to compare how they feel and engage with one another as they try to complete physical tasks, like tying their shoes or using a cell phone. This group dynamic leads to deeper discussion and better understanding of the impact the geriatric suit is having on everyone.
2. Patient practice. Set up a hospital room or nursing home room right in your classroom. Have one student wear the geriatric suit and the other play the role of nurse or CNA. In this scenario, the role of the nurse is even more meaningful as they help the patient perform physical tasks like sitting down, standing up, walking and laying down – they’re beginning to understand the reality of working with elderly patients, from patience and communication to providing physical assistance. At the same time, the student wearing the simulator is experiencing the physical impacts of aging on the body. These are all key skills for working with the elderly.
2. Stations. Create several “geriatric experience” stations in your classroom for students to move through. One station could feature the complete suit, another station could feature the visual impairment glasses, another could simulate hearing loss, and so on. The Geriatric Simulator curriculum even includes several research projects that students could focus on in yet another station. Encourage your class to take turns rotating through each station.
Real-world experiences can aide in helping prepare today’s students for success in health care careers. With a little creativity, you can conduct engaging, memorable and effective experiences for your students that will help them succeed in the future!
For more information on the RealCare Geriatric Simulator, we recommend these resources: