A new series of virtual reality videos will give 14 to 18-year-olds an insight into pharmacy roles within community, general practice and hospital settings.

The interactive and immersive videos have been developed by the NHS England Technology Enhanced Learning (NHSE TEL) team to showcase the day-to-day working life of pharmacy teams.

Using an internet browser, VR headset or mobile phone, students aged 14 to 18 will be able to place themselves within scenarios based on real life from across a variety of settings.

The videos are described as ‘an alternative to work experience’ for young people, and promise that students will ‘gain a real insight into what it is like to work in a pharmacy and the variety of roles with the pharmacy profession’.

In a video posted by the NHSE TEL team on X (formerly Twitter), Shane Costigan, regional dean of pharmacy at the NHSE Workforce, Training and Education Directorate in South East England, said: ‘People, I think, have an idea in their mind as to what pharmacy really is, and actually what we wanted to do through this programme is really kind of open people’s eyes up the world of opportunities that are available in pharmacy across all different areas of the health service.’

And in another promotional video posted on X, one student commented that they enjoyed how the immersive video enabled them to interact with patients.

And another said that the VR experience helped them to take in information ‘with no distractions’.

Another student said that the videos changed their perception of what a pharmacist could do.

‘I thought they just sat in the back and did the medications, but they actually have a one on one with patients,’ she said.

The ‘Pharmacy: A Day in The Life’ videos have been developed with support from the Simulation Centre Canterbury Christ Church University, Greenlight Pharmacy (Euston), Barts Health NHS Trust Healthcare Horizons team, Inspiring Futures and East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

And they have been tested by students from UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, a school which specialises in computing, sport science, health and social sciences.

The videos can be accessed through virtual work experience platform Healthcare Horizons.

In April, the Personalised Care Institute (PCI) launched ‘lifelike’ virtual reality training to help pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to test and develop their shared decision making skills.