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Transforming hospital dementia training with Virtual Reality videos

20 October 2022

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Four Virtual Reality films have been premiered, which will help transform dementia education at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Thirty-five volunteers were involved in the filming of scripted scenarios, which were shot using a 360-degree camera with six lenses, to help put clinicians in the shoes of patients living with dementia.

The educational videos, which can be viewed using a VR headset, on a computer, laptop or mobile phone were put together by the NNUH Dementia Education Working Group and Dr Jordan Tsigarides, VR Lead for Postgraduate Education.

Dr Tsigarides said the films were designed from the perspective of a person living with dementia to help healthcare professionals understand the challenges they face on a busy inpatient ward.

He said: “Dementia is a complex condition, which not only substantially affects the lives of patients living with the condition, but also the lives of their friends and family. There is a real challenge for healthcare professionals to truly understand why patients living with dementia act in the way that they do, why they feel disorientated, confused or distressed in certain situations. The VR experience helps to put healthcare staff ‘in the shoes’ of patients living with dementia within realistic clinical scenarios that we see every day. This provides insight into what it is like to be a patient with dementia in hospital and will inevitably promote important discussion and learning.”

Liz Yaxley, Dementia Services Manager, added: “A huge amount of effort and hard work has gone into producing these educational videos and we are looking forward to embedding these into our dementia education to help clinical staff working with patients who have dementia and using for dementia leadership training.”

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