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Simulation news – welcome Diane Dennis!

The Simulation Leads Committee is pleased to welcome Dr Diane Dennis as the Simulation Lead from the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Penny Moss for her contributions, innovative ideas and expertise. We wish Penny all the best in her role as Interprofessional First Year Coordinator, where will continue to work together.

Welcome Diane, and thank you for joining the Simulation Leads Committee!

Diane Dennis, Simulation Lead, School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science.
Diane Dennis, Simulation Lead, School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science.

Profile of Diane Dennis, Simulation Lead, School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science

I have worked at both Curtin University and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) in some capacity since the late 1980s. I have an eclectic clinical background, mostly in the neuroscience and cardiopulmonary areas. I am currently employed at SCGH in the Intensive Care Unit as a Physiotherapy Researcher, and at Curtin as the Simulation Lead working specifically to build and develop Simulation Based Learning (SBL) activities within the curricula.

To that end, working with a number of others in the school, I have been involved in refining and continuing to co-ordinate the 18 day fully-simulated clinical placement that approximately half of our third year students, and all GEM students, undertake each year. This is a continuation of the work the school began in 2013 within the framework of a two year national project.

In addition, my diverse clinical experience has helped me to co-ordinate and embed activities across core areas throughout the physiotherapy curricula. We currently undertake at least one activity in each core area every semester across all years of the physiotherapy programme, and at least one interprofessional activity in semester two. We have presented the outcomes of the learning activities at various teaching and learning forums, and submitted a number of papers for publication.

I form part of the alumni from the inaugural Harvard Simulation Institute for Medical Simulation Instructor Workshop, run by Edith Cowan University in 2014, and our alumni continue to work to deliver simulation training to the broader medical community. I believe that we need buy-in from faculty to continue to foster SBL at Curtin, and that ‘seeing and doing is believing’. In my experience of rolling out the modality, staff have unanimously recognised the value of the SBL after they have themselves designed and delivered it to a group of their students. I believe that we are only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of the scope of SBL in the health sciences and that exciting times lay ahead.