A simulation approach to medical education provides a powerful pedagogical strategy enabling effective practice in realistic highly pressurised situations without impacting on patient safety (Maran et al, 2003). It provides a safe environment where mistakes can be made and understood, resulting in the facilitation of genuine reflection and learning (Issenberg et al., 2005).
Already widely employed in postgraduate medical education (Ostergaard, 2004) and increasingly becoming a key aspect of effective undergraduate medical training, simulation experiences usually cater for small student groups working through recreated scenarios in specific training centres. Although this is an excellent approach it means that a large cohort may have restricted exposure to this training as it requires a significant logistical and financial investment. The effective use of technology can produce sustainable and efficient additional educational options allowing greater student contact with simulation.
The emergence of new affordable Virtual Reality (VR) technologies combined with the ubiquitous presence of high quality smartphones, in students’ pockets, presents a new opportunity. 360 degree film recording can now capture a panoramic clinical environment and allow an observer to witness an entire complex scene as it plays out in real-time. This immersion into a virtual clinical world, where a healthcare student can witness the management of medical emergency by simply wearing a headset, would allow the student a new, intense perspective on emergency clinical management.
This short presentation will summarise the innovative use of technology to enhance the quantity and quality of simulation education within an undergraduate medical curriculum. The session will demonstrate a selection of recently captured 360 degree clinical simulation scenarios. This content covers several recreations of medical emergencies, played out in real time using actors and clinicians. The footage is accessible in a variety of formats, including use of a VR headset and 360 degree web based video players. Both main formats will be displayed in the session as audience feedback is gathered.
The presentation will also outline the educational possibilities which can be exploited using this realistic and immersive content. Enhancements to formative self-assessment, online resources, interactive lectures and small group teaching will be communicated.
The transferable nature of this project will also be detailed with potential connections to many courses making this an interesting and though provoking session for anyone involved with vocational education and placement supervision in the healthcare setting or wider professional environments.
Maran N, Glavin R. (2003) Low- to high-fidelity simulation – a continuum of medical education? Medical Education. 37 (supp 1): 22-28.
Issenberg SB, McGaghie WC, Petrusa ER, et al. (2005) Features and uses of high-fidelity medical simulations that lead to effective learning: a BEME systematic review. Medical Teacher. 27:10–28.
Ostergaard D. (2004) National Medical Simulation training program in Denmark. Critical Care Medicine. 32, 2(supp): S58-S60.