Staffs University launches simulation suite to train nurses in patient safety

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Staffordshire University has launched a new simulation suite to provide nurses with training in patient safety in The School of Health and Social Care.

The simulation suite mimics a real-life emergency room and enables them to learn how to work in high-pressured and unpredictable environments.

The most notable pieces of technical kit which the suite features are four life-like clinical skills manikins which can breathe, blink and even talk.

The treatment the nurses administer to them is controlled in an observation room.

Technical staff manipulate the responses of the manikins depending on whether the nurses administer specific doses of drugs or give them CPR.

Clinical Skills manikin

The student nurses take part in simulation days where they simulate emergency scenarios and learn how to treat the patients in stressful atmosphere – huge emphasis is placed on the nurses learning about human behaviour and they way they respond in high-pressured environments.

There is a dedicated debriefing room where the students are able to watch the live streamed footage of the simulation, which enables them to reflect and analyse their performances to learn how to improve their knowledge of patient safety.

Other specialist equipment in the simulation suite includes defibrillators, Automated External Defibrillators and Dinamap machines.

In UK hospitals there are approximately 150 deaths every week related to issues around patient safety costing the NHS around £2.5 billion pounds a year, which is why these nurses are being trained to the highest standard of to ensure they know the importance of patient safety.

Mike Phillips, Associate Dean of The School for Health and Social Care says: “This type of training helps prepare the nurses to work in the real environment, and instead of training them in a classroom and talking theoretically, we can do it around the bed.

“They are also able to learn how to communicate with the patient and anxious relatives, which is something you cannot teach in a classroom. This type of training is taking it to a different but appropriate level.”

Students can already study nursing degrees at the university’s Shrewsbury and Stafford campuses. But last year, the university created the opportunity for people to study the degree at their main campus in Stoke-on-Trent.

The plaque was unveiled by the L.E.P’s chairman, David Frost

Anne Ewins, Dean of The School for Health and Social Care says: “It’s our mission to provide really high quality graduate in nursing, paramedics and midwifery to help with the regional supply of the workforce in healthcare.

“The Clinical Simulation Suite is a key part of being able to deliver on this”, she added.

The number of trained nurses has decreased by 200,000 since 2010 and these contemporary facilities will hopefully reverse this and provide nurses with the fundamental training they need.

Kim Stein, former Senior Sister at Burton Hospital, said this type of technology is revolutionising the training of nurses and midwifes.

She says: “These simulation suites were only starting to appear 10 to 15 years ago and they have now massively improved patient safety and care.

“When I trained as a midwife, we would rely on doing drills and shadowing senior midwifes on shift which was fine, but I don’t think it provided the same level of training the students now receive from using these facilities.

“The fact that student midwives and nurses have the opportunity to use these facilities is incredible and it can help give them the confidence to do their job which can usually make all the difference in an emergency situation”, she added.

The £176,000 facility has been funded by Stoke-on-Trent’s Local Enterprise Partnership (L.E.P)in order to help with this mission and provide high quality services in order for this mission to be achieved.

This equipment paves the way for a modernised style of nursing training that will undoubtedly equip the nurses of the future with a better medical understanding of those they care for, which will ultimately save lives.

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