Touching stories = sensitive nurses; the power of Mask Ed (KRS simulation) in stomal care

Professor Kerry Reid-Searl

CQUniversity Australia



Teaching nursing students how to care for a patient’s personal and intimate needs such as occurs in managing a stoma in the safety net of a classroom is an area that has not been adequately explored in the literature. Nursing programs have traditionally used manikins or task trainers to teach students such care and yet there is no life or living response from the manikin. It becomes difficult for students to feel the vulnerability for the manikin and as such there is no human connection. Bringing life to the simulation through the vulnerability of the patient’s story is part of what Mask Ed (KRS Simulation) gives to students in order to prepare them for the reality of their practice.


The aim of this presentation is to showcase the story of Cyril Smith from diagnosis of bowel cancer to managing a stoma through the technique of Mask Ed (KRS Simulation). The presentation will also provide participants with an explanation of the pedagogy and the core elements of Mask Ed (KRS Simulation).


Mask Ed (KRS Simulation) has three core elements. These include the character, the coach and the context. When combined carefully together, simulation experiences unfold creating learning experiences that enable students to be in a space of providing intimate care. The connection the students build with the Mask Ed character enables them to feel the vulnerability and establish an empathetic human connection necessary for quality patient care.


Mask Ed (KRS Simulation) is a simulation modality that can create learning opportunities for students through the power of story.


Professor Kerry Reid Searl is the Assistant Dean Simulation at CQUniversity Rockhampton Campus. Kerry has been involved in undergraduate nursing education for the past 25 years and has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards. Some of these include the CQUniversity Vice Chancellors Teaching Award in 2008 and 2010, two Australian Learning and Teaching Citations for her outstanding contribution to student learning in 2008 and 2012, was named Pearson/Australian Nurse Teacher Society- Nurse Teacher of the Year in 2009 and in 2012 was awarded and Australian University Teaching Excellence Award. In 2013 Kerry was awarded the Simulation Australia Achievement award.For the past 4 years Kerry has been the recipient of certificates of commendation for Student Voice Awards for CQU Educator of the Year and CQU Distance Educator of the Year.

Kerry has become known nationally and internationally for her pioneering work in creating, designing and researching an innovative simulation strategy which suspends learners in disbelief. The technique is called Mask-Ed (KRS Simulation). Additionally Kerry also works with puppets and has designed a technique called Pup-Ed (KRS Simulation).