Many students would agree that pharmacology can be a dry subject as well as overwhelming in terms of the numbers of drugs to learn (Sears, Goldsworthy & Goodman, 2010). Students in the first year of a baccalaureate nursing program in the Middle East take a course about pharmacologic therapy as nursing intervention. As a teaching innovation, a simulation activity was created whereby nursing students
actively engaged in specific scenarios in the roles of patient, nurse, nurse assistant, and observer, giving them an opportunity to experience how pharmacology as intervention can come alive and be relevant to nursing practice. Using simulation in nursing to facilitate the development of nursing skills in students has long been recognized as valuable (Cant & Cooper, 2009; Cioffi, Purcal & Arundell, 2005).
Simulation offers as close to real life clinical experiences for students in which to prepare for practice and develop skills safely without the stress of the real nursing environment (Medley & Horne, 2005). As a formative assessment teaching strategy, the simulation offered the teacher insight into students depth of understanding of the pharmacology material, their ability and motivation to apply what they learned in class. In the debrief session, the teacher noticed students enthusiasm for the simulation
experience. They were reflective about their feelings and learning with respect to, for example, what it was like to be a patient giving a medication history, what it was like to be a nurse taking a medication history and being responsible for knowing and finding medication information, and finally what it was like to implement patient medication teaching.