GCU wins Herald Enhancing Student Learning Award for nursing simulation

15 July 2016

Alan Middleton and Mark Gallagher of the School of Health and Life Sciences

Alan Middleton and Mark Gallagher of the School of Health and Life Sciences

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has been presented with the Enhancing Student Learning Award at the Herald’s 2016 Higher Education Awards.

Supporting GCU’s Strategic Goal of ‘Transforming Lives through Education’, the University’s School of Health and Life Sciences is developing the digital education environment and expanding the use of learning technologies to enhance the student experience.

‘Chaotic Environment’ is a simulated learning experience, delivered to GCU student nurses undertaking the Learning Disabilities Nursing Studies programme.

Registered nurses in any field of practice need to be prepared to meet the needs of patients, service users and carers, to a level expected by the public, to be able to respond to challenges and to meet the demand for care delivery in a modern and complex healthcare system.

GCU encourages its nursing students to undertake a variety of practice learning experiences within a variety of health and social care settings. GCU’s virtual learning environment and state-of-the-art inter-professional simulation suite provides flexible, innovative, appropriate and effective learning design, content and assessment.

Through the innovative teaching simulation, the students learn community learning disability nursing practice in a more realistic and challenging environment. By simulating ‘chaos’, the students can better understand a patient’s deteriorating mental health and have to make decisions about how they are going to respond to the situation that they find themselves in.

Through the simulation experience, students explore key themes within contemporary learning disability practice including meeting health needs, community engagement, person-centred planning, inclusion and integration, addressing health inequalities, legislation, forensic practice, care planning and assessment, evidence-based practice, research methods and appraisal.

Scotia Medical Observation and Training System (SMOTS) cameras are used to film the students and enable them to undertake reflection following the learning experience. Students write up their initial patient assessments and post this on the GCU Learn module site.

Professor Lynn Kilbride, Head of Department, Nursing & Community Health, said: “What an achievement for the department. I am delighted that the team are leading the way in this area and that it is so valued by our students. Well done to Alan Middleton, Mark Gallagher, and the team."

Alan said: “Mark and I were delighted to win the award for Enhancing Student Learning at the Higher Education Awards which we received for using simulation in Learning Disability Nurse Education. This is great honour for both of us and our Department of Nursing and Community Health. We could not have done it without the support of our students and colleagues. Importantly we know that being creative and enhancing learning can and will improve the lives of people with learning disabilities.”

GCU also won a commendation for the Disability Team in the category of Student Support Team of the Year.