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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Roleplay a vital part of quality aged care training according to expert

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An Australian tech company is paving the way for a new standard of staff training in the nursing and aged care industry.

Coviu, Australia’s leading telehealth software company and a spin-off of CSIRO’s Data61, is offering video consultation software to healthcare businesses.

The platform now offers an add-on to facilitate virtual video training, emphasising the importance of roleplay.

Dr Annie Banbury, clinical research lead at Coviu, tells Aged Care News that role-playing is a vital aspect of quality training, especially for sensitive conversations, including arrangements around advanced care directives.

“Very often when we train, it can be a little dry, but we know roleplay really helps people to practice those difficult kind of conversations or skills that they’re trying to learn.”

The new Coviu functionality allows assessors to create checklists for vital performance markers, which can be digitally ‘checked-off’ during virtual video-assessments with trainees.

Assessors’ commentary is timestamped against the virtual role-playing scenarios, which can then be played back and reviewed constructively by the assessor and trainee.  

A copy of the roleplay is then saved and delivered to the trainee, who can review the footage alongside the assessor’s notes.

“Enabling someone to have that feedback as well, really helps set what the standard should be and helps [trainees] meet those competences,” Banbury says.

Banbury demonstrated the process to Aged Care News, simulating a response to a misplaced smile during a role-play scenario.

“I’m sure you were trying to be empathetic, but it might seem a bit out of alignment with what the family member was talking about,” Banbury notes.

“She might be really upset at this point… so maybe you might change this.  

“This is the debriefing session that happens within the roleplay,” Banbury explains.

The technology was designed in response to demands from the healthcare community to have available online platforms that cater to their specific industry needs.  

“We go much further beyond the Zoom and the teams which are business solutions.

“We’re actually developed straight for the healthcare environment.”

Bernie Dwyer, national training coordinator at Organ and Tissue Authority, says that the use of such technology for training purposes may bridge the divide between healthcare outcomes in metropolitan and regional areas of the country.  

“This is particularly important for nurses where [sensitive] conversations are rare and for those in rural and regional hospitals, where access to qualified and experienced coaches may be limited,” Dwyer says.

“It allows us to reduce the barriers to accessing training, such as the need to travel, and enables nurses to connect and learn whenever they have the time.”

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