An interdisciplinary research project to develop a hybrid model of simulation-based education and training for healthcare professionals preparing to work in conflict zones.
PhD project title and outline, including interdisciplinary dimension:
An interdisciplinary research project to develop a hybrid model of simulation-based education and training for healthcare professionals preparing to work in conflict zones
This interdisciplinary project aims to develop a hybrid model of simulation-based education and training based on research in Drama and Medical Education, that will better prepare healthcare professionals who volunteer to work in difficult and often dangerous conditions. Organisations such as the British Red Cross and Médecin Sans Frontières are increasingly relied upon to provide assistance to alleviate human suffering in poorer countries and conflict zones where state-supported healthcare is minimal and compromised by internecine strife. Healthcare professionals who volunteer to work in such conditions are exposed to challenging situations involving human suffering in terms of physical, social, psychological and emotional dimensions. The key problem is that healthcare volunteers are often not prepared as well as they need to be in terms of dealing with behavioural rather than purely clinical dimensions. Preparation for contact training in Medicine and other healthcare disciplines involves various forms of simulation training to help students and professionals equip themselves for 'real' world experiences following graduation and during the course of their career. Where clinical skill and technical competence are taught to high standards, the complexities of interpersonal interaction are referred to in clichéd terms as ‘soft skills', 'bedside manner' and 'non-technical skills' and are often under-valued and poorly understood in terms of formal education and training. This project seeks to address this problem in coordination with Smashing Times, a Dublin-based professional theatre company committed to artistic excellence and social engagement. It is anticipated that outcomes for the project will include a spin-off company that specializes in preparing healthcare professionals for work in conflict zones through high-fidelity simulation-based training. In this context the Fellow will avail of an immersive experience in the intersecting worlds of Drama and Medical Education with a clear trajectory oriented towards a career in simulation research and healthcare training.