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Saturday 22nd October 2016

Nurse training to use 'virtual patients'

5th December 2008

Glasgow Caledonian University has bought an island in the Second Life game to help nurses enhance their training.


Avatars have been created to represent patients and nurses. The patients are able to interact with the nurses to allow them to carry out patient assessments.

Each patient is controlled by a tutor or by artificial intelligence and each has a different history and reason for being admitted to hospital.

Glasgow students are able to interact with patients on a six-bed ward which can be programmed to have patients with any symptoms.

Dr Jacqueline McCallum, the university’s senior clinical lecturer for clinical simulation, said: "The students are given a ward report, go into the six-bedded ward and are expected to provide care for the patients. We are looking at their decision-making skills. Who do they decide to go to first and do something about? What do they do if they have a phone call about a patient and they need to sort things out?"

Dr McCallum said there were a number of benefits of virtual training. These include the ability to put nurses into situations that they would never normally be allowed to be in and also to gather them in a room with a team of health professionals in which they would be required to interact as they would do in every day life.

The first students are due to train in the lab in February.


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