Complex and safety critical healthcare environments like the Intensive Therapy Unit demand highly skilled professionals efficiently interacting with their technologically advanced surroundings and with each other. The ITU environment is daunting to newcomers and contains considerable potential for harm by inexpert treatment. In spite of this, current training is largely workplace based and depends upon observation and supervised practice with real patients. We propose the development of a distributed collaborative environment that recreates key elements of critical care. Centred on a 'virtual bedspace', team members will care for the patient in a way that accurately reflects actual practice and therefore minimises any learning gap. Graded exposure to increasing levels of complexity will ensure that collaborative learning takes place alongside each participant's clinical experience and complements it appropriately.
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