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Simulation news

Students from the School of Biomedical Sciences get valuable ‘real life’ experience participating in a high fidelity simulation devised by staff from the school and faculty.

Simulation news.
Simulation news.

Biomedical simulation

Fourth-year biomedical students studying diagnostic cytology recently participated in a high fidelity simulation that aimed to authentically replicate Rapid Onsite Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (ROSE) and Endoscopic Bronchial Ultrasound (EBUS). The simulation was devised by Dr Alina Miranda and Associate Professor Vin Williams from the School of Biomedical Sciences, along with Alison Kelly and Associate Professor Michelle Kelly from the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The students participated in a real-time hospital procedure where they were required to analyse tissue samples taken from a patient (manikin), and provide diagnostic advice to the respiratory physician performing the procedure. This was performed in the nursing simulation suite under conditions designed to replicate a ROSE, a procedure often performed in radiological laboratories under the guidance of ultrasound and computerised tomography, or occasionally as an intraoperative procedure in surgical theatres.

Associate Professor Vin Williams pre-briefs the students.
Associate Professor Vin Williams pre-briefs the students.

The students were debriefed regarding their diagnosis, communication, interprofessional team work and professional skills, such as cross checking patient details, including name, date of birth and patient’s unique medical record number. Some students were so diligent they identified a patient mismatch that was not deliberate and not designed as part of the scenario.

Dr Miranda reported that students were initially quite sceptical about the simulation, offered negative comments prior to the event, and thought that their time would be more appropriately consumed with revision or review of material for exam preparation.

However, during the simulation activity, the students realised how this real life scenario immersed them in an environment some may experience in the very near future. By the end of the scenario, most students thoroughly enjoyed the simulation and shared with the group during debrief that perhaps this would be a worthwhile exercise instead of the online IPE case-based studies.

Simulated-based learning helps students to develop critical thinking and technical skills required by industry professionals in a safe, risk free environment.

The scenario in progress – students observe.
The scenario in progress – students observe.

The students who participated in the simulation were followed up in a focus group one week later, kindly coordinated by Dr Helen Flavell. These findings will be used to contribute to a peer reviewed paper.

Also participating in the simulation were qualified pathologists (scientists/colleagues from the field), laboratory nurses (Curtin staff) and respiratory physicians (actors). The project was made possible by a TASS grant. It is envisaged that the scripts and a filmed version of the simulation will be useful for future iterations of the simulated scenario.

The simulation team.
The simulation team.


McGough, S and Heslop, K. Poster presentation – ‘Addressing the disparity of mental health simulation in undergraduate nursing curriculum’. 42nd International Mental Health Nursing Conference – Adelaide 25 to 27 October 2016.

Recent simulation-related publications from staff in the Faculty of Health Sciences

Maclean, S., Kelly, M., Geddes, F & Della, P. ‘Using simulated patients to develop therapeutic communication skills in nursing education: An integrative review’. Nurse Education Today. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2016.09.018.

Written by Alison Kelly

Simulation Lead
Faculty of Health Sciences