VU's multi-million-dollar simulation labs for paramedic, nursing, and midwifery students are officially open, signalling an exciting new chapter for current and future students.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Dawkins (AO), staff, and industry partners, including Natalie Suleyman MP attended the launch held at VU’s St Albans campus and enjoyed a tour of labs by Dr Karen Livesay (Director of Health Simulation) and Professor Karen Dodd (Vice-President, Health, Sport and Active Living).
The high-tech simulated labs are equipped with ‘high fidelity’ computerised mannequins that have blinking eyes, breathing chests, bleeding arteries, and grumbling bowels. They can reproduce all the conditions of a real patient delivering a baby, having a heart attack, or dying from a life-threatening injury.
VU Health Simulation Director Dr Karen Livesay said simulated learning allows students to use new technology and repeatedly practise techniques with increased levels of difficulty in a safe and supportive setting.
“Decades ago, nurses trained at patient’s bedside in an apprenticeship model, which produced task-oriented nurses who knew how to do things. Today, modern health professionals must understand why they’re doing them.”
The labs can be staged with realistic sets so students can practise with the mannequins or role-playing actors to handle an industrial accident, respond to a crisis at a crowded nightclub, or push a stretcher with an obese patient down a narrow corridor.
Professor Peter Dawkins said “I am honoured and pleased to officially open the simulation labs and congratulate all those involved. These new state-of-the-art facilities will ensure today’s midwifery, nursing and para-medicine students become outstanding health professionals of tomorrow.”