Coventry University’s virtual simulation experiences (VSE), which allow healthcare students and qualified practitioners to experience real-life situations in a virtual world, has won a European award.
Co-designed by nursing and midwifery educators and healthcare practice leaders from across the globe, the VSE uses browser-based virtual environments to simulate patients, clients, users, and colleagues to develop learners’ capabilities by working through life-like, challenging situations and acts as a bridge between classroom learning and real-life clinical experience.
Its benefits have now been recognised at the 2023 Triple E Awards, which are billed as “recognising efforts toward the quest for entrepreneurship and engagement in higher education”, winning the European Community Engagement Initiative of the Year award.
The VSE was recognised for its capability to help address predicted shortages in healthcare workers worldwide over the next decade through the development of leadership and digital literacy skills among early career nurses and midwives, which is critical to addressing issues such as staff retention and patient outcomes.
Project director and Assistant Professor in Health Simulation, Abbie Green, attended the awards ceremony in Barcelona to accept the award on behalf of the project team.
She said: “It gives me great joy to accept the prestigious 2023 European Community Engagement Initiative of the Year award, representing the Coventry University Simulation team and our invaluable collaborators.
“I am immensely proud of every individual involved who played a vital role in the successful implementation of this initiative, and their unwavering commitment truly deserves this recognition.”
Other organisations involved in the project include Children’s Health Ireland, the Centre of Children’s Nurse Education in Ireland, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in America, Midwife Led Community Transformation in Uganda, and the National Health Care Conferences in Uganda.
Dr Natasha Taylor, Coventry University’s Curriculum Lead for Healthcare Simulation, said: “This award is testament to the innovative nature of the virtual simulated experiences we offer our learners, here in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health.
“To work with global collaborators towards the common goal of sustainable healthcare development has built relationships and improved the nursing community both in the UK and around the world.
“We look forward to working again with our collaborators and bringing the lessons learned back to our School and the range of healthcare learners we have.”
Find out more about the university’s health simulation course.