The School supports student learning about clinical practice through guided simulation and clinical skills experiences. Rehearsing skills, including communication and teamwork, before clinical practice experiences is important for patient safety. Simulation also improves students’ insight about the whole of practice, their roles and responsibilities.
Simulation includes a range of practical experiences which makes use of technology, equipment, people and the learning environment. The School has specialised simulation laboratories and a range of equipment, e.g. task trainers or models for inserting catheters or cannula; to full body computerised manikins with life-like features.
The range of manikins covers the life spectrum – from babies through to adults, including a pregnant ‘woman’ who can birth a ‘newborn baby’. Several high-end manikins can generate pulses, and be made to breathe, blink, sweat and have a seizure. Patient volunteers also help students to refine communication skills.
The simulation spaces replicate hospital or community patient care settings with the relevant medical equipment. When moulage (fake blood, urine and other body fluids) is added, the level of realism is enhanced.
A range of scenarios is incorporated into curricula to guarantee students experience both common and uncommon patient situations to inform their future practice. Debriefing discussions following simulations consolidate this highly engaging learning experience.
A number of School staff have expertise in the development, delivery and evaluation of simulation. School staff contribute to simulation groups and societies at local, state, national and international levels. A program of research is underway, including multi-site projects and students undertaking doctoral studies.