Document Type : Original Article


1 School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, South Africa,

2 School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, South Africa

3 School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, South Africa


BACKGROUND: Simulation debriefing influences learning from healthcare simulation activities.
Health sciences educators must be competent in conducting simulation debriefing for healthcare
students. A structured faculty development intervention for health sciences educators must be
informed by educator needs to enhance its utility. This paper describes the needs of health sciences
educators regarding simulation debriefing at a faculty of health sciences.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A parallel convergent mixed methods study design was applied on
a selected population of 30 health sciences educators at the University (x) who integrate immersive
simulation for first‑ to final‑year students in their undergraduate programs. The Objective Structured
Assessment of Debriefing tool underpinned observations which informed the quantitative strand of the
study, while semi‑structured interviews were conducted as part of the qualitative strand. Descriptive
statistics and thematic analysis were used to analyze the data.
RESULTS: Health sciences educators struggled to establish the learning environment for
simulation (median 1), facilitate learning (median 3), and evaluate their debriefing activities. However,
they were able to apply an appropriate approach toward simulation (median 4). They identified the
need to be educated on the fundamentals of simulation‑based education.
CONCLUSION: A continuing professional development program must be developed aimed at
transforming approaches toward facilitating learning, explaining the fundamentals of simulation‑based
education, modeling of best‑practices related to debriefing, and applying appropriate strategies for
evaluating debriefing activities.


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