Physiology health check: an active learning, student-led interprofessional physiology education event

Katherine Rogers*, Maggie Bennett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Educators on healthcare courses need to provide an educational experience that equips students with knowledge and expertise to interact with and care for patients while remaining cognisant of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)issues. Most studies focus on sociology-themes of EDI awareness for healthcare practice, but responsibility also lies within bioscience educators to encourage students to consider links between EDI issues and a patient’s physiology.

Engaging with physiology is an aspect of nurse education that some students find challenging yet students appreciate the importance of a comprehensive bioscience knowledge to underpin their clinical practice. To promote engagement with these subjects, and widen participation in education of healthcare professionals, we secured an outreach grant from UK’s The Physiological Society to host an event aimed at increasing awareness of physiology for health. The “Physiology Health-Check” event involved a cross collaboration with students and staff from the School of Medicine and School of Nursing jointly facilitating the event. At the Physiology Health-Check event the student volunteers measured heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose, body mass index and pulse oximetry of passing participants.

Feedback from student volunteers and participants was extremely positive: students reported the great learning opportunity it provided, working alongside students from the other profession, gaining skills in patient and professional communication. All student volunteers reported that participating in the event helped them to apply their academic theory when undertaking skills and reporting findings to participants. Children’s nursing students reported the benefit for them as they have infrequent opportunities to conduct these skills on adults, which is important as the skills set is slightly different when working with children. The academic staff facilitators reported an interesting EDI observation where male participants gravitated towards male student volunteers for their health check, possibly because they were perceived to have more “in common” and were more comfortable discussing their results? All student volunteers said they would participate in future similar events - evidence of the value such events in enriching the student experience.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic students on healthcare courses have had fewer opportunities to practice clinical skills outside university-based skills classes. This event allowed nursing and medical students the opportunity to practice in a safe, supervised environment and to ask for advice and guidance from facilitators or other students. This active peer learning event enriched the student experience and promoted interprofessional team work – all essential skills for future healthcare professionals.


ConferenceQUB Annual Learning and Teaching Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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