Moral imagination in simulation-based communication skills training
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Clinical simulation is used in nursing education and in other health professional programs to prepare students for future clinical practice. Simulation can be used to teach students communication skills and how to deliver bad news to patients and families. However, skilled communication in clinical practice requires students to move beyond simply learning superficial communication techniques and behaviors. This article presents an unexplored concept in the simulation literature: the exercise of moral imagination by the health professional student. Drawing from the works of Hume, Aristotle and Gadamer, a conceptualization of moral imagination is first provided. Next, this article argues that students must exercise moral imagination on two levels: towards the direct communication exchange before them; and to the representative nature of simulation encounters. Last, the limits of moral imagination in simulation-based education are discussed.
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