The resource, known as ACORN (A Community Orientated Resource for Nursing), provides students with an opportunity to experience, through simulation, community practice.

Acute simulation is well established within the University’s school of Health, Nursing and Midwifery. This development, which will be rolled out across all four of the University’s campuses in the coming months, provides nursing and midwifery students with access to a simulated primary care environment where they are able to replicate events which commonly take place within a community setting.

Used in conjunction with the University’s existing Acute simulation, ACORN is the missing link to simulate the complete patient journey.

ACORN features four designated areas; the DOMUS home care environment, reception space, GP consulting room, and treatment room. In addition to this, UWS has collaborated with NHS 24 and is in the process of developing an ‘out of hours’ telecommunication station which will support students and provide opportunities to further develop prioritisation and decision-making skills.

Simulated exercises undertaken in the facility see students take on the role of District Nurse within the home care setting, treating patients with long term conditions and hospital discharges. They also take on the role of receptionist and are required to triage mock ‘patients’ who call or ‘drop in’ for appointments with the GP or Treatment Room Nurse. The triage system replicates that used in primary care practice. The GP and treatment room stations allow students to develop the skills of clinical assessment, investigations, interpretation of blood results, prioritisation, decision making, health promotion, and communication. Additionally, it affords the opportunity for students to practise clinical skills within a safe and supported learning environment. The immersive nature of ACORN equips students with hands-on practical skills as well as problem solving skills to prepare them for clinical practice.

Winnie McGarry of the University’s School of Health, Nursing & Midwifery, who is a key co-ordinator of the ACORN facility at UWS, said: “The feedback we have received from students as well as NHS partners who have visited the facility has been excellent.

“The resource, which is unique in the Scottish university sector, gives students the invaluable opportunity to gain an insight and practical experience of the primary care environment before having to enter it in a professional capacity.”



Read the original article at University of the West of Scotland: ‘UWS launched Scotland’s first simulated primary care environment’