In collaboration with University of the West of Scotland (UWS), NHS Education for Scotland (NES), Edinburgh Napier University’s Ruth Patterson has developed an innovative COVID-19 training solution for healthcare professionals.

The COVID-19 training program has a number of resources that include a scenario based virtual reality assessment intervention game. Based on computer gaming technology, the online training program will better equip healthcare workers with the skills and knowledge required to assess and treat COVID-19 patients. This program is set to be updated and developed as new information is supplied.

The program allows trainees to view the patient from all angles, assess their symptoms, review their notes, consider all the vital signs and make decisions on diagnosis and treatment.

The interactive nature of the program overcomes some of the limitations that distance learning can encounter, including passive learning and lack of equipment, as well as the costs associated with delivering large-scale training in a changing situation.

Dr Ruth Paterson, from Edinburgh Napier University, said: “At Edinburgh Napier, we are constantly seeking out innovative approaches to teaching and learning and during this pandemic it is crucial we meet the education needs of healthcare professionals. The interactive nature of the simulation game is aimed at promoting a deeper understanding of caring for people who are severely ill with COVID-19.”

UWS’s Dr David Ndzi said: “The outbreak and rapid spread of COVID-19 has highlighted the challenges in training a large workforce in a short space of time to cope with a rapidly changing situation. The role of technology and decentralised training in this type of scenario is crucial and UWS has the skillset to develop practical and interactive virtual training; thereby eliminating challenges associated with lack of equipment and costs.”

The COVID-19 training program including the novel virtual reality scenarios are publicly available on Edinburgh Napier University’s online learning website.  To access the online learning webpage click here.  You will need to make an account to access the training program. If you are Edinburgh Napier staff or student, you can use your log in details. If you are not affiliated with ENU, or have forgotten your ENU details, you can quickly register an account by clicking the white button at the bottom of the page that says ‘Create new account’.  To see a demo of the game on YouTube click here.

Ruth Paterson is a Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University.  Among other projects Ruth developed, implemented and evaluated an early warning scoring system to assist with recognition of the acutely ill patient. This led to the development of NEWS and national roll out of the instrument. To see Ruth’s full bio click here.

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