Nursing and healthcare students at the University of Bedfordshire will get the opportunity to deal with realistic challenges and emergencies in a ‘virtual ward and clinic’ thanks to funding won in a Dragons Den type challenge.
The simulation suite, at the University’s Butterfield campus set out as a hospital ward with lifelike mannequins, will run as a virtual ward and clinic, where students will work in shifts and tend to patients in real time conditions.
As well as having to face the various challenges and emergencies that would be found in an NHS ward or clinic, they will be able to take observations, make notes and take overall responsibility to improve the quality of care and patient’s safety.
Students will also be able to use a new electronic record keeping software, SystmOne by the Phoenix Partnership (Leeds) Ltd, similar to the information technology found in a real healthcare environment.
Charles Kpodo, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Human Factors at the University of Bedfordshire said: “Use of the simulation suite will allow students to enhance their clinical experience. The simulation suite offers a real life clinical environment, where students can learn in a safe setting the process of caring for patients.
“We even have mannequins which mimic the physiological symptoms of patients. It helps students to assess if they’re doing the right thing allowing them to transfer those learnt skills and knowledge when they’re actually working on a ward.”
The simulation suite which also has areas set up for maternity and theatre use, has been run as a ‘virtual ward’ after students pitched for funds as part of the Vice Chancellor’s Student Experience Projects (Steps).
The University has set aside funding to improve the Student Experience. It focuses on introducing, changing or enhancing aspects of the Student Experience, identified by students and staff as ripe for change.
Students have to pitch their projects for funding to a Dragons’ Den style panel chaired by the Vice Chancellor and featuring other senior figures from across the University.