Climate change, natural disasters and geopolitical unrest may cause interruption to the supply of resources used in everyday clinical practice. Nurses have limited knowledge of sustainability and are poorly equipped to deal the challenges working in a changing environment brings.
Acknowledging that solutions require different disciplines, Plymouth University called upon its experience in Education for Sustainable Development to create a new module in the curriculum which brings design students into the nursing skills sessions so that they could see some of the sustainability challenges that relate to healthcare practice, and identify where design could provide innovative solutions.
The design students create prototypes, which are then tested by the nursing students – and some of the most successful designs are now in the commercialisation process of the University.
The project has been presented at five external and two internal conferences.
1 Changes in students’ knowledge and attitudes towards sustainability can be achieved when teaching and learning is interactive and relevant to practice / realworld settings
2 Shared / interdisciplinary learning provides students with a deeper and broader understanding of the sustainability challenges faced by different disciplines
3 Ensuring that the teaching materials were evidence-based, and evaluating the new teaching and learning approach from the start were important aspects of the project.
An innovative and practical approach to embedding sustainability thinking into health disciplines with tangible outcomes. The judges particularly liked the strong cost/benefits
“At Plymouth, we pride ourselves on the way we have embedded sustainability across the curriculum, and nowhere is that better demonstrated than with our nursing team. This win is a deserved reward for their innovation and vision.”
Professor David Coslett, Deputy Vice-Chancellor