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Advanced simulation technology enhances education at Blue Mountains Hospital

16 Aug 2022


A dedicated simulation room at Blue Mountains Hospital is supporting doctors and nurses to train together regularly, reducing the need for travel and creating better opportunities for hands-on clinical education.

The new training space features three life-like medical training manikins that accurately replicate the physiology, and even some of the functions, of real human patients.

With the ability to simulate breathing and a palpable pulse, connect to monitoring equipment, emit life-like sounds and allow for incisions through replaceable layers of realistic skin and tissue, these highly specialised training manikins allow clinicians to safely practice a wide variety of skills and procedures.

“We are fortunate to have adult, paediatric and infant manikins so we can run simulated health care scenarios across the entire lifespan,” says David Corden, Nurse Educator at Blue Mountains Hospital in Katoomba.

“We run a wide range of realistic simulations with no risk to patients, which is a hugely valuable compliment to textbook or classroom-based education.”

Staff working at Blue Mountains previously had to travel for occasional simulation training days, but since the introduction of the new education space, a continuing program of what is the benchmark for modern clinical education is now easily accessible at their workplace.

“We need constant exposure to maintain our skills, and that’s what this new training space offers,” says David. “Our nurses and doctors may not perform these procedures every week, or even every month, but when they do the skills and the confidence have to be there.”

The new resources also provide opportunities for collaborative and cross-disciplinary training.

“Non-technical skills of health care such as leadership, teamwork and communication are paramount for positive patient outcomes, and if staff haven’t trained together, then working collaboratively can be challenging - particularly in stressful situations,” says David.

Thanks to the availability of regular simulation training, different clinical teams at Blue Mountains Hospital can now rehearse complex scenarios together, improving their ability to collaborate more effectively in real-life situations.

Simulation training sessions have the capacity to be live-streamed, allowing teams to observe, critique and discuss one another’s practices. Participants can also view recordings of the training to self-identify what went well and what may need to be improved.

Thanks to portable technology simulation training can also go mobile, providing multi-disciplinary education across the facility. Staff can train in the specific locations they work in, using the actual resources and equipment that are available in the room.

Mobile simulation training also allows for larger and more complex scenarios that can move across the facility, replicating the patient’s journey.