Associate Professor Michelle Kelly, PhD RN MN BSc

Simulation lead – School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine, Co-Sim Lead, Faculty of Health Sciences Curtin University

What types of workshops do you facilitate?

  • Debriefing strategies
  • Creating scenarios – single and multi- professional
  • Simulation research strategies
  • NHET-Sim – variety of modules/ workshops

Who do you instruct? And what are their roles/professional levels?

  • School and Faculty staff
  • Prelicensure students – nursing & midwifery
  • Post Graduate students – nursing

What advantages do you think simulation affords health care training?

Simulation enables rehearsal of multiple elements of practice

What benefits do you think simulation provides your workshop participants?

It helps learners to draw on their tacit knowledge to ‘glue things together’ 

What benefits do you think simulation offers to patients, the health system or society?

Rehearsing or refining typical, unusual or infrequent scenarios to mitigate risk and help learners anticipate what to do in a range of ‘situations’

Simulation environments

What changes have you noticed in simulation over the time you’ve been involved?

The diversity of sim (usage and scenario topics) across disciplines.           

What is the most frustrating issue you experience with simulation?

People setting up or advising on building sim facilities who do not leverage off those experienced in this area.   

What useful tips do you have for instructors who are starting out in simulation?

  • Connect with others in your ‘community’ be that local, national or international. There is a plethora of experience out there.   
  • Watch someone more experienced in debriefing to fine tune your facilitation skills.


How do you use technology in your simulations?

Prefer to adopt more low-tech these days. But single channel audio between instructor and SP (simulated patient) is important for directing responses.

Can you share some low-tech simulation that you have used/experienced that had major impact?

Working with actors to portray relatives in sims to rehearse conversations about: organ donation; hearing voices; and mental health recovery. Irrespective of level of knowledge or experience, the impact of these types of sims is impressive. 

Research influence

What is one interesting publication that has influenced your understanding about simulation?

‘Simulation: not just a manikin’ by Seropian and colleagues back in 2004 as it highlights the broader aspects of setting up a sim space and program (staff development etc); the Oregon group also have a timeline for what should be planned in what order prior to becoming operational.

Was your PhD based around simulation?

Yes, Investigating the use of simulations in enhancing clinical judgement of students to practice as registered nurses. This was a longitudinal, mixed methods study using Tanner’s (2006) Model of Clinical Judgement, Hager & Halliday’s (2006) Informal Learning and Lave and Wenger’s (1991) Community of Practice to report on how simulation influenced senior nursing students’ subsequent thinking and practice.

What simulation research are you currently undertaking?

  • Impact of AV simulations on assessment of patients’ pain
  • Using Depth of Field (photo-elicitation) to prepare nursing students for clinical practicum
  • Developing a model to determine the Social Return on Investment (SROI) of simulation

Please describe the type of research that you commonly do:

Qualitative or mixed methods research. There’s so much more that emerges from the rich data to inform ‘where to from here’. The impact of sim on learners is much more than we can observe or anticipate. Unpacking this is important for all players. 

Recent conferences and highlights?

IMSH 2019 in San Antonio | The current wave of technology will change the way we use simulation – AR, VR and mixed reality/3D printing.

In a nutshell…

# summary of your interests & simulation journey

#Collaboration; #diversity; #creativity; #powerful learning; #exploring impact; #becoming a health professional 

Why do you come to WASHA events? 

To engage with and support others; seek out collaborative partnerships and discuss research ideas.

What vision do you have for WASHA to help it achieve aims? 

Establishing and strengthening collaborative interprofessional networks within WA, nationally and internationally. Build on the work of other professional simulation groups; be informed by others’ research agendas.