Posted Thursday 16 May 2013
Paramedic science students have been getting the chance to enter the world of high technology forensic crime busting as part of an innovative learning initiative.
The trainee paramedics from Kingston University and St George's, University of London have been taking part in role play scenarios at the scene of crime house already used by Kingston's forensic science students to practise their field skills. The property, at the rear of Kingston's Penrhyn Road campus, is set up to simulate real-life crime scene situations and includes criminal investigation paraphernalia and role-playing actors to make the experience as authentic as possible.
The forensic science students have been using the property for a number of years, but this term the house has also been opened up as a location for paramedic training. An initial session in January involved two days of paramedic-only training simulations, covering mental health, trauma and advanced life support.
This month the paramedics - based at the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, run jointly by Kingston and St George's - have joined forensic science students from Kingston's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing for a combined crime scene day.
The initiative gave the two groups of students the opportunity to work together to develop their understanding of how they would collaborate when confronted with the complex demands of a real crime scene. Each training scenario has been supported with expert feedback from teaching staff, with debriefings involving video playbacks.
The sessions in the scene-of-crime house were arranged in response to feedback from students who were keen to be as well prepared as possible for the workplace. The scheme also helps provide the students with the skills to overcome the many practical challenges paramedics can face delivering high quality patient care.
Senior lecturer in paramedic science Lisa Burrell said the simulated scenarios helped bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world. "We wanted to give students the opportunity to engage with what they have been learning in a manner credible for the workplace. The realistic settings allow them to think through how they will approach and manage different challenges effectively," she explained.