Nursing professors at the University of Jaen use scenarios and augmented reality for
teaching about climate change and sustainability

In the aftermath of a pandemic, many international organizations, such as the International Council of Nurses, the World Health Organization and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, recognize the integration of sustainable health care into the curricula of health professionals as a key point to raise awareness and change attitudes. It is necessary to provide students with knowledge about the health risks posed by climate change and how to prevent these problems through primary prevention strategies, as well as to equip them with the necessary skills for the responsible use of resources both in their work and on a personal level, as health personnel are a role model for the population.

Thus, professors from the CuidSalud Research Group at the University of Jaen, within the framework of the teaching innovation project Environmental awareness in health care: curricular sustainability in the Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, included sessions on sustainability and climate change using scenarios and augmented reality over three academic years.

Attitudes and environmental awareness towards climate change and sustainability increased significantly as students received the learning sessions over three consecutive years. After their first clinical training period, students already showed a high awareness of unsustainable practices in their working environment; however, they still had difficulties in applying sustainability and addressing unsustainable practices in healthcare settings; showing the need for further work in this area. Most students felt that the scenarios helped them to make links between climate change and health.

This research has recently been published in BMC Nursing, where it can be consulted in full: Carmen Álvarez-Nieto, Cristina Álvarez-García, Laura Parra-Anguita, Sebastián Sanz-Martos & Isabel M. López-Medina. Effectiveness of scenario-based learning and augmented reality for nursing students’ attitudes and awareness toward climate change and sustainability. BMC Nurs. 2022;21: 245.

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