Human Patient Simulation for Skin Cancer Prevention

In their article, Kuhrik et al. (2011) discuss the idea of using simulated patients with moulage-like lesions to educate students to assess skin conditions and detect early skin cancer signs. The sample of the article consisted of 104 students, and the data analysis indicated positive outcomes of the training strategy. Moreover, the authors consider the idea of educating students who may be in a group of risk for skin cancer to further spread awareness about the condition. Thus, Kuhrik et al. (2011) conclude that human patient simulation (HPS) can benefit future healthcare providers and promote early prevention and detection.

The idea of using HPS is not new to the medical world. In many schools, nursing students encounter life-like mannequins to practice physical assessment, diagnosis, and decision-making. This method has some advantages over using only theory or practicing with real patients. First, HPS allows nursing students to visualize the problem of skin cancer, which cannot be done outside of a clinical setting otherwise. Moreover, colleges may create a variety of scenarios for students to examine, thus broadening the scope of available knowledge. In comparison to practicing on real people, HPS can be less stressful for inexperienced students who are unsure of their decision-making or communication skills. Moreover, ethical issues and the lack of suitable patients can limit students’ ability to practice.

HPS can be used as a part of an educational process. The article presents an interesting view of this strategy and connects it to the modern goals of early prevention and detection. Nurses can use this info when considering new hires who may not have enough experience working with such conditions as skin cancer. Moreover, the study demonstrates the power of visual representation, which nurses may transfer to other areas of professional training.


Kuhrik, M., Seckman, C., Kuhrik, N., Ahearn, T., & Ercole, P. (2011). Journal of Cancer Education, 26(4), 687-693. Web.

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