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Inclusive Virtual Dementia Tour Day for Birmingham Level 6 BSc Health and Social Care Students

By Chloe Harries
Friday, November 4, 2022

A virtual reality workshop was organised for Level 6 BSc Health and Social Care Students on 25th and 26th of October 2022 at the Birmingham Sparkhill Campus to demonstrate awareness training when interacting with service users who are suffering with dementia.

A group of students standing in front of a van of the Virtual Dementia Tour

The ‘Inclusive Virtual Dementia Tour’ or ‘Dementia Bus’ incorporates a virtual reality experience for students which highlights key learning outcomes from a variety of modules which are studied in level 6 including ‘Mental Disorders and Psychopathology’ and ‘Living with Care: the Older Person’.

Through the utilisation of virtual reality trainer of the event Mick provides students with a practical and creative participation in to the way in which a service user suffering with dementia feels and the challenges which are presented living with the disorder.

The tour included some key components such as:

  • Experience and identify how to improve the physical and sensory changes that a person with dementia may experience.
  • Recognise the environmental changes needed to improve the lives of people with dementia.
  • Experience and identify the correct ways to improve communication.
  • Build a person-centred care approach.
  • Build simple activities that are engaging for people with dementia.

This immersive developmental strategy aims to engage students in their own knowledge and development of dementia which is established in the indicative content of the modules, and to receive formative feedback after their experience on the tour, while also demonstrating other core competencies including empathy and compassion when encountering dementia service users in the workplace or personal setting.

Feedback from students:

“An extremely valuable and exciting training course; Mick the trainer was great in demonstrating how dementia patients are treated. I will be mindful and empathetic when interacting with people who suffer with the disorder and the sensory issues they face. I would recommend this course to anyone who knows or deals with dementia sufferers!” (Student – BSc Health and Social Care – Term 1)

“This training has provided me with such an insight into how dementia suffers feel and how we as a university can help and support the dementia community when we become healthcare professionals. I am so grateful this was organised for us by our programme manager Chloe!” (Student BSc Health and Social Care – Term 3)

Students received a certificate of recognition for their participation in the experience and have the opportunity to reflect on their understanding through assignments and discussion. We hope to work with Mick and Training2Care again for further continuous professional development courses for our students in the future!

Note: This initiative was part of the UWTSD's Students' Experience Enhancement Fund (SEEF).