The international project Mobility, the aim of which is an innovation in the method of lifelong education of nurses, received a large helping of inspiration when the most recent meeting of the international working group focussing on the practical teaching of clinical skills was held in the unique training centre of Sweden’s Karolinksa University Hospital. The visit enabled the Mobility team to find out about one of the current trends in the present education of medical professions – the practising of skills using realistic simulations of individual acts associated with the provision of healthcare.

According to the experience of one of the largest university hospitals, teaching based in particular on a simulation of real situations is worthwhile at several levels. "The positive impact of this conception of practical teaching can be seen in particular in the area of patient safety, where there is a significant reduction in the risk of an adverse incident caused by less experienced personnel. Reduction in error rate thanks to practised skills also reduces superfluous financial costs. And accurate simulation also improves the self-confidence of young healthcare workers and helps them gain confidence in their own abilities and so assurance when giving care," says Pavlína Horová, marketing director of the company LINET and project coordinator.

In practice the teaching takes place in realistic ‘copies’ of consulting rooms of various specialisations, operating theatres, intensive care departments etc. Real instruments and figurines manufactured according to the needs of the individual skills being learned are available. Students and healthcare personnel can also use classrooms and studies equipped with modern audiovisual equipment. As a result of this the additional teaching activities are as interactive as possible.

"The meeting in Sweden was of great benefit. I had heard about teaching centres designed like this, but direct experience with how effective teaching via simulation can be is irreplaceable. Education of this type is more expensive, but the example from Sweden shows that such an investment is worthwhile. I would like the practice of skills under the most realistic possible conditions to become a standard part of teaching for healthcare professions in the Czech Republic too," says Veronika Di Cara, a member of the Mobility team representing the Czech Nursing Association.

The Mobility project is run under the auspices of LINET, a Czech manufacturer of hospital beds. The aim of the initiative is to seek out possibilities for innovation in the professional education of nurses and implement them successfully at the international level. In addition to the French and Swedish branches of LINET, professional nursing organisations from the Czech Republic and Poland and the Swedish Karolinska University Hospital are working together on the project. By September 2014 the project will introduce a list of recommendations for the improvement of lifelong education in healthcare professions and contribute to the creation of an international partner network to collaborate on implementing the recommendations. The project was launched thanks to a grant from the European Leonardo da Vinci program, which supports vocational education.