Background: There has been a worldwide exponential rise in simulation use in health professions education. Most of the evidence about simulation-based education (SBE) comes from Western educational systems. Little is known about simulation use in the education and training of pharmacy students and pharmacists in the Middle Eastern countries.
Objective: To explore pharmacists' experiences, perceptions and attitudes toward simulation use for learning clinical skills in Kuwait. Setting Different governmental hospitals across the State of Kuwait.
Method: This was an exploratory descriptive study of pharmacists' perceptions about SBE. A mixed-method research design was employed whereby 110 hospital pharmacists participated in focus groups and completed self-administered surveys. The focus group interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using framework analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to describe characteristics of study participants and survey findings.
Main outcome measure: Pharmacists' experiences, perceptions and attitudes toward SBE.
Results: A total of 110 pharmacists participated in the focus groups, of whom 88 completed the survey (80% response rate). The focus groups revealed that pharmacists had different experiences in relation to simulation use which included learning, assessment, and less frequently reported in their training as practitioners. They identified many benefits of simulation such as enhancing knowledge retention and allowing learners practice and rehearse clinical skills in safe environments. Participants' perceived barriers to simulation use in pharmacy students' training included the need for qualified faculty and simulated patients, time constrains to incorporate simulation in faculty teaching and reluctance of learners/educators to use simulation. Most participants expressed positive attitudes toward simulation and welcomed its integration in pharmacy students' learning. In response to survey, 26.1% of pharmacists reported having no prior experience in the use of simulation. The top reported barriers to using simulation for learning were time constrains (22.7%) and the need for qualified faculty (6.8%).
Conclusion: Pharmacists in Kuwait have diverse experiences regarding simulation use for learning. They expressed positive attitudes toward simulation use for learning clinical skills. Efforts are needed to standardize and expand simulation use in the education and training of pharmacy students, trainees and practitioners to equip them with the clinical skills essential for pharmacy practice.
- Clinical skills
- Simulation-based education