Simulating real-life situations for medical education

In February 2022, the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Team was contacted by Dr Jemina Onimowo to collaborate in the creation of an e-learning solution to train junior doctors in the management of a deteriorating patient.

After the kick starter meeting for the project and upon assessing the learning requirement, the following learning objectives were specified:

  • For learners to be able to recognise a deteriorating patient
  • For learners to become familiar with the assessment and management of an acutely unwell patient
  • For learners to understand the method of assessing a deteriorating patient using the A-E approach

After this initial consultation, it was felt that the use of Immersive Reality (XR) would be the most effective solution to address the learning requirement. XR e-learning solutions offer an extra dimension of time-pressure and interactivity essential to simulating real-life situations.

Working with Dr Onimowo, Dr Heslop-Harrison and Dr Rehman, the TEL team filmed the scenario constructed by the doctors with a 360’ camera and created an XR e-learning course. The result was a 15-minute XR e-learning course which would be experienced by a learner within an Oculus Quest Virtual Reality headset.

This course was tested with a group of junior doctors who when surveyed reported an increased confidence in dealing with a deteriorating patient. Other feedback included:

  • “I was able to appreciate how a deteriorating patient is treated in real time.”
  • It was really useful to get a recap of A-E stuff”
  • It was good to assess an unwell patient. A fun way of making learning interactive”

All trainees agreed that it would be valuable to include this experience within a junior doctor’s curriculum.

XR is well suited to medical education to safely simulate unique and high-risk situations. The TEL team strive to advance this technology within the Trust and BSMS for this reason.

You can request support with an XR educational project by contacting the TEL team at where we look forward to collaborating with you.