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Nursing academics visit Australia to learn about MASK-ED simulation tools

Mask and puppet tools can enhance student learning and help health students better understand the needs of patients

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Nursing academics from City, University of London have visited CQUniversity, Australia to learn more about the use of life-like character masks and puppets in health education.

Used in realistic role-play and patient scenarios, the tools can enhance student learning and help health students better understand the needs of patients.

Having first heard of the innovative MASK-ED (KRS Simulation) during a conference in Italy a few years ago, City academics Janet Hunter and Karen Rawlings-Anderson went to Australia to learn first-hand from creator Professor Kerry Reid-Searl.

Thanks to developments in life-like character masks and silicone body parts, health educators can now 'mask' themselves for realistic patient scenarios, enhancing student learning.

Professor Reid-Searl was also able to show Janet and Karen the ‘Pup-Ed’ system which allows health professionals and educators to demonstrate medical procedures to a child, using a friendly-looking puppet. One of the puppets, known as ‘Tommy Richie', is a cutting-edge silicone design which can handle tubes and needles and can be wiped down to avoid cross infection.

Speaking about the simulation tools, Janet said:

“At City we’ve used empathy suits and bariatric obesity simulation suits to help health students better understand the needs of elderly or overweight patients, but we are very keen to introduce new, creative and powerful ways for students to learn, so we will certainly look to explore MASK-ED.”

Karen said:

“I think MASK-ED could also be used across other disciplines including radiography, speech and language therapy, clinical psychology, and maybe Pup-ED for children’s services… we’ve had quite a lot of ideas of how we could do this. CQUni’s nursing academics have also talked to us about using a Tag Team Patient Safety Simulation tool for dramatising nursing scenarios, which we’d also like to pick and use back in London. There’s lots of areas where we could also collaborate in future so it’s exciting.”

Image: L-R Karen Rawlings-Anderson, Professor Kerry Reid-Searl and Janet Hunter with a range of MASK-ED and Pup-Ed simulation tools (credit: CQUniNews)

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