New simulation ambulance enhances training for student paramedics at Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes students with the simulation ambulance
Oxford Brookes University Health and Life Sciences staff and students with the simulation ambulance.

Student paramedics, nurses and midwives at Oxford Brookes University can experience life-like emergency and urgent care scenarios thanks to a new simulation ambulance.

Justin Cule, Clinical Skills and Simulation Manager at Oxford Brookes, said the simbulance is fitted with exactly the same equipment as a standard NHS ambulance.

He said: “We know that early familiarisation within this completely authentic vehicle will help our students get off to a flying start on their work placements. Becoming familiar with the internal layout of a real ambulance and its equipment in realistic simulations will prepare them well for their placements and enhance their learning and development. The obvious way to help the development of our students was to get a real ambulance so they can orientate themselves properly and practice core tasks before going out on placement.”


Paramedic student Thomas Torrington checks out some of the controls inside the simbulance.


Paramedic Science student, Thomas Torrington, said: “Having this sort of equipment available allows us to simulate actively treating a patient in the back of an ambulance. This work brings challenges such as limited space and movement.”

Thomas described how on one work placement he had helped to treat a cardiac patient in an ambulance with very little space. 

“We made it work through good communication and planning. Having the simbulance will allow us to practise this sort of scenario with a simulated patient so when it comes to the real thing we will have these experiences and skills at our disposal,” added Thomas. 

Nursing and midwifery students will also use the vehicle to simulate the experience of transporting critically ill patients to hospital. 

Shelly Everett, senior lecturer and subject coordinator for Paramedic Science at Oxford Brookes, said: “The simbulance gives students a realistic experience of the working environment inside an ambulance that they will face when they start work. We’ll be taking the simbulance to life-like training scenarios.”

Student paramedics regularly attend multi-disciplinary emergency scenarios. These include working with the Fire Service College. The fully equipped simbulance will greatly enhance learning and development.

Professor Astrid Schloerscheidt, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes, said: “The simbulance is a fantastic addition to our outstanding range of state-of-the-art clinical simulation and immersive learning facilities here at Oxford Brookes University. It will really improve our already excellent paramedic training and expand our professional training capacities for a range of health care professionals.”