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The Psychological Validity of Training Simulations: Analysis of a Simulation with Role-Playing Games to Experiment the Gesture of “Relational Touch”

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Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL,volume 30)

Abstract

This chapter proposes an analysis of a role-playing game simulation designed to train caregivers to the “gesture of relational touch”—i.e. a sequence of gestures practiced during the care supposed to give the patient a moment of relaxation and well-being. More than just a simple technique, the gesture of relational touch is a real personalised act of care and a multidimensional activity. We integrate these characteristics into the training design, particularly in a role-playing game simulation. Data were collected during four different training sessions. They were entirely recorded and transcribed. The different dimensions of relational touch that the trainees experimented with in the simulation situation are presented (e.g., the importance of continuity of contact with the patient). Some trainees found also resources to rediscover the meaning and value they attribute to their work. These results offer an opportunity to discuss the psychological validity of simulations, taking into account the opportunities for mediation they offer. It stresses that this simulation mobilizes the trainees’ collective meaning of their trade and the shared resource that is “transpersonal history,” which can be used in the design of simulations, thus providing “transpersonal mediations.” It thus opens perspectives to place the profession at the heart of simulations for vocational training.

Keywords

  • Role-playing-game simulation
  • Professional gesture
  • Mediation
  • Scheme
  • Transpersonal mediation

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Notes

  1. 1.

    An analysis focusing on the trainer’s activity would feature other types of mediations, for example, in the designing phase (Rabardel & Samurçay, op. cit.) or at the moment the simulation exercise is performed: In some cases, the trainer plays different kinds of roles and adjusts the variables of the simulated situation to the trainees’ skills (Samurçay & Rogalski, op. cit.; Vidal-Gomel & Fauquet-Alekhine, 2016). We will not analyze those aspects of the simulation here.

  2. 2.

    However, in France, the data related to relational touch are rare and the practice itself is not widely developed. The Joël Savatofski Institute, a training institute specializing in this field, estimates that in 2015, around 4000 people had been trained. According to the Minister of Health, that same year, there were 638,248 nursing staff.

  3. 3.

    We focus here on the conscious, voluntary gesture of relational touch.

  4. 4.

    The methods implemented, such as self-confrontation and allo-confrontation interviews (Mollo & Falzon, 2004), do not allow for a complete and systematic exploration of the implicit or embedded aspects of the activity.

  5. 5.

    At our request, the trainer keeps a logbook, notably to write down everything that cannot be filmed.

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Vidal-Gomel, C. (2022). The Psychological Validity of Training Simulations: Analysis of a Simulation with Role-Playing Games to Experiment the Gesture of “Relational Touch”. In: Flandin, S., Vidal-Gomel, C., Becerril Ortega, R. (eds) Simulation Training through the Lens of Experience and Activity Analysis. Professional and Practice-based Learning, vol 30. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-89567-9_5

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