The role of simulation in developing clinical knowledge and increasing clinical confidence in first-year radiography students

Amy Kong, Yvonne Hodgson, Ruth Druva


Background: First-year radiography students at Monash University participate in simulation learning activities using role-play, x-ray phantom imaging, and pre- and post-clinical placement. Simulation-based learning is commonly used across Australia in radiography and medical imaging teaching programs. However, little research about its role in radiography education has been undertaken. This study aimed to measure knowledge gained by radiography students from simulation activities and how they perceived that simulation activities developed their knowledge and confidence in clinical skills and decision-making.

Methods: Pre-and post-tests were conducted to measure students’ knowledge acquisition after the simulation learning activities. Students’ perceptions of the simulation activities were evaluated by a 40-item paper-based survey using a 5-point Likert scale.

Results: Fifty-five students participated in the pre-and post-tests, and simulation learning activities increased knowledge as shown by a significant increase in the post- test scores compared with the pre-test scores (p < 0.001). All 51 students completed the survey. Results indicated that the simulation activities increased students’ confidence in aligning the x-ray equipment, patient positioning and giving verbal instructions to patients. During the simulation activities, students learnt from errors they made, feedback given by tutors and through observing their peers.

Conclusion: Simulation-based learning can enhance students’ radiographic knowledg 


simulation-based learning, diagnostic radiography; low-fidelity; knowledge acquisition; role-play; self-confidence; x-ray phantom

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