Any space can be an inspirational learning space (with a little imagination and a lot of hard work)

Janine Timms and Sharyn Edwards
Sheffield Hallam University

As an institution delivering a highly focused vocational course in Paramedic Practice we are constantly challenged to deliver problem based realistic simulated practical learning opportunities within our safe learning environment.
Whilst on placement our students could be called anywhere to deal with anything. We utilise our core teaching space and VLE’s to support our academic content, when it comes to practical delivery, any space is a potential learning space.
By using contextualised simulation with high psychological fidelity to facilitate deep learning (Sadideen H Et al. 2012) the teams from HWB Health Technical and Paramedic Practice Academics collaborated to challenge our students. The students experienced a simulated life threatening casualty found at the bottom of the stairs, stab victim at a rave staged in a small immersive cinema, roadside trauma in the car park and long term cardiac condition within a live staff office, to name a few.

Was the hard work worth all the effort? The immediate responses from the students would suggest so:
Scenarios! Thank you for preparing more realistic scenarios for us. They’re a lot more in line with my experiences on the road so the opportunity to take the lead in patient assessment and treatment (without risk to a real patient!) is a great resource.

 …Lots more of these please!”

From a module leader’s perspective – The students confidence appeared increased when dealing with immersive scenarios mainly due to the preoccupation of the realism – the students were so immersed that they almost forgot that they were acting, behaving much more instinctively. The time consuming planning, coordinating, sourcing of props and equipment was worth every second. The results produced in OSCE assessments following these sessions were outstanding.