Rapidly implementing online simulation during COVID-19
Faced with the COVID-19 outbreak organizations all across the world have cancelled all face to face classes. Exams are being postponed and educators are struggling to quickly transition learning resources online. However, perhaps the most difficult of these challenges is the sudden inability to meet clinical requirements.
Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS) appreciate how hard it is to deliver simulation and clinical education at the best of times, let alone during a crisis. As simulation educators, the team at OMS have experienced the chaos caused by last-minute clinical cancellations and the need to rapidly deliver simulation to fill the gap.
This same phenomenon is now happening on a global scale. In response, OMS immediately offered the OMS Distance Simulation platform free across the US, Canada and the UK as of March 16, 2020.
Why? Well, as one of the OMS educational specialists notes:
“We are sim people, educators and folks who ultimately care about patient lives. This is a chance to train nurses and doctors when they need it most… this is exactly why we got into this in the first place!”
The OMS Distance Simulation Program
The OMS virtual simulation platform runs both in immersive virtual reality (using a VR headset) and as a screen-based simulation using the learner’s own PC or laptop (no VR equipment required). It is, in fact, one platform delivered in two different ways.
Scenarios are just as interactive and dynamic whether in VR or on screen. This provides immediate scale and accessibility during social distancing and the ability to switch to fully immersive virtual reality as required.
OMS has hundreds of cases across medicine and nursing, dynamic scenarios, fully-automated feedback and debriefing tools, embedded blended learning resources and simple methods of integrating with curriculum requirements. All of this is offered for free, with no ongoing commitment, until May 31, 2020.
Uptake of OMS Distance during COVID-19
Since May 16, over 50 institutions – with over 17,000 learners between them – have signed up. Many have started utilizing the platform already and many more will start over the coming days. This is being done across all levels of medicine and nursing and for many different use cases:
- Nursing programs (BSN and NP), unable to deliver clinical placements
- Medical programs (DO and MD), fast-tracking their learners for clinical practice
- Hospitals, upskilling clinicians moving between departments
- Health systems, rapidly bringing in new nurses and retraining clinicians returning to practice
Implementing and integrating online simulation
Organizations are using OMS Distance in many different ways. Many are providing it to learners at home. This may be either for just-in-time simulation for those returning to practice, or in schools and colleges by allocating learners to specific scenarios at different times to align with curriculum requirements. Educators can then asynchronously debrief over a video conference, using the automated performance feedback and the learner’s case reflection as a springboard for debriefing.
Others are using OMS Distance for group learning – having learners go through the same scenario at the same time, then group debriefing and case teaching over a video conference. This allows for more team discussion of cases, and the ability to review labs, imaging and EKGs as a class.
Others are limiting what they expect the learners to do in a scenario – asking them to only perform the history and physical exam from the clinical scenarios, using this as a clinical experience structured with more junior learners in mind.
Ultimately, there is no ‘correct’ way of using the OMS system, which makes the platform versatile enough to fit around any program’s goals.
STUDIO: Oxford Medical Simulation