Title

Nursing students return to classes in upgraded simulation wards

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 2-28-2013

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place

Sydney

Abstract

New and continuing students studying Nursing at The University of Notre Dame Australia's Sydney Campus have returned to find state-of-the-art simulation wards at the School's Darlinghurst Site, following an upgrade of the wards' equipment that took place over the summer break.

The School of Nursing contains three simulation wards, which replicate clinical hospital wards, to enable students to perform health care tasks that require teamwork, clinical decision-making and communication skills.

Eighteen beds and bedside lockers in the wards were replaced thanks to funding from Notre Dame as well as from the Commonwealth Government, through Health Workforce Australia.

Mark Rosenthal, Lecturer at the School of Nursing, said the new beds have electronic height and backrest features that reduce manual lifting activities.

"Fifteen of the beds are what you would typically see on an acute medical or surgical hospital ward. Three of the beds have higher functions to allow for critically ill patient scenarios to be performed," Mr Rosenthal said.

The funding also allowed the School of Nursing to purchase two high fidelity simulation mannequins to join their single SimMan, on which students perform scenarios with cases ranging from obtaining vital signs to recognising and managing life-threatening complications.

"This new equipment will help improve the overall clinical education curriculum and help our students hit the ground running when out on professional placement in the clinical environment," Mr Rosenthal said.

Students studying Nursing at Notre Dame undertake 126 hours of practicum in the clinical simulation environment over the course of their three-year degree. Through this training, they hone the psychomotor skills required for clinical practice, which allows them to concentrate on performing higher-order tasks, such as assessment and clinical decision-making, in high-pressure situations.

Mr Rosenthal said Notre Dame's simulation wards are a vital component of preparing students to become excellent health care practitioners.

"Students begin using the simulation environment from the very beginning of the degree in week one of their first semester," said Mr Rosenthal.

"As Nursing professionals and educators we owe a duty of care to our patients, to the nursing profession and to our students to make sure they are equipped with essential nursing skills before entering the clinical environment. With exposure to weekly simulation activities and a rigorous clinical skills assessment, I believe we provide the workforce with highly skilled nursing graduates," Mr Rosenthal said.

The Sydney School of Nursing will open its simulation wards to members of the public interested in pursuing a career in Nursing. A Day in the Life of a Nursing Student will be held on Wednesday 3 July 2013 and prospective students will have the opportunity to attend classes, speak to current students and academic staff members and experience what it is like to study Nursing at Notre Dame.

For further information please contact: Communications Officer, Elizabeth Fenech The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney Campus

T: 02 8204 4407

E: elizabeth.fenech@nd.edu.au

W: www.nd.edu.au/