Bonsall opens the discussion by asking Dr. Jett to explain debriefing, which the educator characterizes as the “heart and soul of simulation.” She emphasizes that it “has been extended in the last decade to transition students from action to reflection,” with the goal of focusing on learners to “diffuse their feelings.” This helps the students clarify their thoughts on decisions, enabling them to “refocus in the right way and allow them to reflect and make changes and improvements as they transition to a variety of different care and clinical settings.”
How debriefing helps clinical judgment
Bonsall next probes Dr. Jett on how debriefing can be used to enhance clinical judgment. Wherever the clinical experience happens, Dr. Jett responds that debriefing is an effective “bridge between theory and practice,” with clinical judgment as the ultimate goal. “I’m less concerned about what you [the student] did,” Dr. Jett explains, vs. “understanding why you did it. It’s all about understanding their train of thought, their path to a decision, helping to reframe it to make better decisions in the future.”
Dr. Jett continues, “This enhances clinical judgment because we’re teaching them to think through what they’ve done,” giving students “the step-by-step opportunity to articulate their train of thought.” Dr. Jett also notes that the objective is not to “fix our learners through debriefing” but to help them “make better decisions for their patients,” which is what clinical judgment is all about.
“That’s our job, our role as educators,” she emphasizes, “to help them make sense of the decisions they made or didn’t make” [so] “they can make better and long-lasting decisions in the future.”