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Health Professions Education Conference features 'Headspace Theater,' serious gaming, PDAs

Improving patient care with PDA-using nursing students in clinical placements, using simulation to teach police about mental illness, enlisting video games to improve analytical and psychomotor skills, and piloting new simulation techniques for myth-busting in advanced pain management courses are some of the exciting topics for discussion and collaboration at the first international Health Professions Education (HPE) Conference May 21 23, 2009.

Hosted by the Centre for Nursing Education Research (CNER), at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, the HPE Conference -- Global Best Practices in Simulation has attracted world-class leaders in simulation, virtual simulation and technology-based learning from a broad spectrum of health professional education and training disciplines. Researchers will present findings on the far-reaching impact of innovations in education for preparing health-care providers in today's fast-past, demanding and ever-changing health-care environment.

"This is the first time leaders in health education and training from around the worldand from a variety of disciplineshave come together to share their findings," says Dr. Adam Dubrowski, director, CNER and conference chair. "We hope to take initial steps towards the development of global best practices in simulation-based education and training."

Bloomberg Nursing will feature researchers such as:

  • Maureen Barry, Mary Ann Feegan and Shawna Rooke PDA Use Pilot Study for Nursing Students in Clinical Placements
  • Geraldine MacDonald and Betty Burcher Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Simulation
  • Michael McGillion Myth-busting in Complex Cardiac Pain Management Courses through New Simulation Techniques

Other experts at the conference include:

  • Bruce Ballon "Headspace Theatre," Developed to Enhance Empathy and Healthy Attitudes towards Mental Health
  • Robert Fraser Social Media as Collaborative Tools for Health Professionals
  • Wendy Stanyon Simulation Techniques to Engage Police to Learn about Mental Illness
  • Ken Finney "Serious Gaming": Video Game-Based Learning for Health Education and Training

"Simulation learning is not the unaffordable 'luxury' many institutions believe it to be, particularly in developing countries," says Dubrowski. "This is what one of our keynote speakers, Dr. Roger Kneebone, of Imperial College London, will address for teaching surgical trainees. There are many ways to provide innovative teaching and learning, in a safe, optimal learning environment for health-care students, which ultimately, will help deliver better patient care for everyone."

For a complete list of research topics at the HPE Conference, view:

For HPE Conference information, view:

Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2010, the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, is one of the world's premier nursing schools for education and research. Our clinicians, researchers, educators and students are part of the answers to the questions shaping the future of health care in Canada.


Contact: Lucianna Ciccocioppo
University of Toronto

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