State-of-the-art immersive technology to prepare students for clinical practice launches at Oxford Brookes University

Thursday, 28 April 2022

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Health and Social Care students at Oxford Brookes University are set to benefit from state of the art technology that allows them to step into immersive scenarios, to prepare for real life clinical practice.

The cutting edge technology, delivered in partnership with interactive simulation company Gener8, can simulate a variety of different environments, such as hospitals, patients’ own homes, GP surgeries and schools, which will enable students to gain invaluable experience of a variety of clinical situations.  

This will mean that students will be given the closest possible experience to real life situations, including scenarios which they may not have experienced in clinical practice during their studying period. Students will also have the opportunity to ask questions, have immediate debriefs and revisit situations following feedback.

The technology was launched in front of a live audience at Oxford Brookes’ Marston Road campus in Oxford on Monday 25 April, and will assist nursing, midwifery and allied health and social care professional students in their learning.

An actor planted in the audience simulated a stroke, and the students taking part in the event were required to respond to the situation.

A projected background regularly changed throughout the simulation in order to represent the different locations through the patient’s journey. The demonstration was also an immersive experience, meaning that the audience could participate if they wished, by moving around the room to gain different perspectives on the scenes that were unfolding in front of them. 

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Additionally, Virtual Reality headsets were showcased during the launch, which students can use to undertake assessments of virtual patients. 

The state-of-the-art teaching facilities were funded through a £2m grant from the Office for Students (OfS) announced last year. The grant is also providing a new, immersive digital classroom area for engineering, computer science and cybersecurity students at Oxford Brookes University. 

Dr Clair Merriman, Head of Professional Practice Skills in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences said: “We are delighted to be able to launch this cutting edge technology at Oxford Brookes University, so that our students can have fantastic learning opportunities and enhance their interpersonal skills.

“This method of learning for our health and social care students gives them as close to real life experiences of dealing with clinical situations, all in a safe environment.”

Professor Astrid Schloerscheidt, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes, said: “This significant investment is helping us provide leading, modern, state-of-the-art facilities which complement and enhance our high quality teaching. 

“I am thrilled to see this immersive learning technology come to life and create a modern and thought provoking learning environment which will prepare students well for work in their professions.” 


[Images credited to Paul Tait]