Elaine is a registered adult nurse, registered operating department practitioner and academic with specific teaching interests in international healthcare education, interprofessional collaboration and non-technical skills/human factors/simulation and their role in patient safety. Her career has been very varied and has included clinical work within the operating department/critical care and university posts in both psychology/computing and health; she has worked both in the UK and overseas. Her varied educational background, dislike of hierarchies and innate curiosity, have led naturally into working across professional and cultural divides.
Elaine is involved in a variety of inter-professional teaching and learning innovations across the university for students from different healthcare professions. Her teaching is mostly on post-graduate programmes, involving students from a variety of healthcare professions and countries. She also works with undergraduate students across the faculty to deliver teaching through simulation in both the skills and Hydra Minerva facilities. Elaine has also developed and delivered inter-professional non-technical skills education for staff at local NHS Trusts, plus continuing professional development study days at UCLan in this area. Elaine is involved in a number of inter-professional research activities and collaborations, all of which aim to improve healthcare education and patient safety. She is also driven by a strong desire to address research inequities when working with partners in developing countries, including the dominance of HIC first authors in resulting publications. Elaine is currently working with colleagues from the Sri Lankan Institute for Research and Development and Ministry of Health to develop the first mentorship education/train-the-trainer programmes for qualified Sri Lankan nurses. She is also undertaking research into the most effective ways for HICs and LMICs to collaborate on research and educational projects and co-ordinating a BEME (Best Evidence Medical Education) review of the related literature.
Elaine’s career has taken an interesting, and convoluted, route to its current location. Following her initial degree in Psychology and MSc in Knowledge Based Systems she worked briefly in research which examined how people learn to use computer systems. It rapidly became clear that this was not something she wished to develop as a career and she returned to education and trained as an adult nurse. This led to several years based in anaesthetics/critical care where she became increasingly involved in education and mentoring of students and new staff. In 2004 she moved full-time into healthcare education, working initially in the NHS followed by a move into higher education. Elaine has retained clinical links and skills through honorary contracts.
Elaine’s university teaching was initially focussed around her areas of clinical expertise but this has gradually changed to better reflect and utilise her other qualifications and knowledge. Her teaching and research focus is now clearly on international healthcare education, interprofessional education and non-technical skills, alongside simulation as the medium for delivering the latter. She has been instrumental developing interprofessional education within the Faculty and across the wider university, including ongoing teaching collaborations with colleagues in medicine and pharmacy for students from different healthcare backgrounds. As a result of internal funding she also led the development of a multi-professional handover workshop for healthcare students in 2016, in collaboration with colleagues from medicine and pharmacy. In 2016 Elaine jointly led a project to examine the viability of replacing some practice hours for student nurses with simulated learning.
She has also worked with simulation education colleagues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway - as a result of a ASME (Association for the Study of Medical Education) Medical Education Travelling Fellowship award – to determine whether the way in which simulation is integrated into undergraduate programmes there could also be effective at the University of Central Lancashire. More recently, she has been involved in the development of simulated patient educators in the Faculty. Elaine has also developed and delivered non-technical skills education for staff at a local NHS Trust, plus continuing professional development study days at the University.
Since 2017 Elaine’s focus has been increasingly on international healthcare collaboration and the education of international students. Since 2018 she has collaborated closely with colleagues at the Institute for Research and Development in Sri Lanka to devise the first mentorship education programme for qualified Sri Lankan nurses. The research which underpins this, and the design of the programme itself, were supported by a variety of funding streams and the programme received approval from the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka in October 2019. Crucially, UK colleagues used their expertise to support the Sri Lankan staff to devise the programme, as a result of which it is culturally appropriate. It is hoped that further collaborative projects will develop in the future with colleagues working in community-based healthcare projects in Sri Lanka. Elaine is currently undertaking research into the best ways for high income countries (HICs) and low and middle income countries (LMICs) to collaborate on international healthcare education and the impact which the legacy of colonialism has on international collaborative working between LMICs and HICs.