An evaluation of perceptions of the introduction of student-led simulation in pharmacy education


  • Jonathan Davies Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Science
  • Lauren Hewitt Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Science
  • Dilna Sebastian Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Science
  • Saba Khan Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Science



In recent years, the use of simulated experiences has become an area of increasing importance in the education of future healthcare professionals.  Simulation is utilised across a variety of healthcare disciplines including medicine, nursing and pharmacy.  Simulation has been identified as a way of providing experience of complicated or high-risk processes or procedures for students in a fashion that is safe and supportive, allowing for both reflection and skill development.   


During the large-scale closure of universities and training facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic traditional models of simulation, which are typically delivered through in-person attendance, were largely unavailable for students and faculty.  A result of this was an increased focus on the provision of decentralised simulation, with simulated experiences potentially being delivered remotely at a time and place that that in convenient to the student. At Liverpool John Moores University, virtual simulation (through a programme called PCS Spark) has been utilised within the undergraduate Master of Pharmacy programme since 2020.   


In 2022, a mixed-methods study was conducted to explore student, staff and stakeholder views and perceptions of the use of virtual simulation in healthcare.  This involved the use of questionnaires administered to students who had recently been introduced to a virtual simulation.  In addition, semi-structured interviews were performed with both academic staff   and stakeholders involved in the design and facilitation of online virtual simulation.   


This session will outline the key findings from this study, which will be co-written with the students who undertook the project as a part of their Master of Pharmacy final year research assignments.  Key findings included the alignment of learning outcomes between students and academic staff, identification of key differences between traditional and virtual models of simulation, as well as the impact of virtual simulation on the traditional multi-disciplinary delivery model of healthcare simulation.