CovSim 2018 UK Recap: A Cross-Faculty Simulated MCI Training Event

Students in the heart of England were tested by a simulated major incident at a music festival called ‘CovSim 2018’ during an emergency exercise staged by Coventry University recently. They leapt into action during a series of immersive simulations which involved festival-goers being poisoned by a toxic agent release and a fire breaking out at the venue. The fast-paced day also saw them react to the longer-term consequences of the disaster, including playing the roles of hospital managers having to prioritise patients and of those first on the scene who later gave evidence in the resulting public inquiry.

It was the first time Coventry University, the top new UK university in 2017 and 2018, has staged a simulation day in this way, involving students from a wide variety of courses and faculties. The event aimed to give students a realistic experience of dealing with the type of emergency situation they may encounter in their future careers.

The event – called CovSim 2018 – was also designed to give them an insight into the range of disciplines that become involved when a major incident takes place – including paramedics, disaster management teams, hospital managers, journalists and legal professionals.

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The Sim Centre, in the university’s Technology Park, hosted the first part of the day with images, sounds and smells from the music festival projected on to the giant screen, while students had to work together to contain the unfolding disaster and manage the situation. The simulation hospital wards and courtroom on the university campus were used for the later stages of the event  and service users played the role of injured festival-goers.

Organisers say the event was a big success and events are already scheduled for later in the year.

Adam Layland, a senior lecturer in health leadership and management who helped organise the simulation day, shared “This was an exciting day which really gave our students a taste of the drama and decision-making that surrounds a major incident. We don’t know when they may be called on to deal with such a crisis in their future careers – but we want them to be as ready for it as possible.”

This was a really innovative and creative way of giving learners this crucial practical experience in a safe situation – and helping their future employability. Students were provided the chance to see the whole thing from different points of view and recreate a variety of scenarios from the immediate aftermath at the scene to a public inquiry several months later.

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For more information or support in developing or running these types of events, please contact Dr Natasha Taylor, Lead for Simulation at Coventry University.

Today’s article was guest authored by Dr Natasha Taylor. Ed D, M Ed, M Ed, BSc (Hons), PGCE, Lead for Simulation at Coventry University.

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Learn more about CovSim 2018: A Cross-Faculty Simulation Event!

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