Queen's University simulation Centre
Exciting plans for the future of healthcare training
Thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends, we have raised the £2m needed to develop our new Simulation Centre. The Centre will be named the KN Cheung SK Chin Intersim Centre, in celebration of the parents of our lead donor who is a Queen’s medical graduate. This is wonderful news for the future growth of the University and Queen’s is indebted to you, for helping us to turn this vision into a reality.
Our aim is to promote excellence in education of the healthcare professionals through an inter-professional simulation-based approach that drives safe, effective and collaborative care now and in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic has enforced the importance of simulated training. Our colleagues in Medicine have used existing simulation facilities to prepare our final year Medics and other Healthcare Professionals for frontline duties, in fact, Queen’s staff have been tireless in ensuring the early graduation of our final year Nursing cohort, to support the NHS during this critical time in history.
This simulated education project to create and utilse a new Simulation Centre to its full potential has been managed by a team within Queen’s which has overseen every aspect of its journey, to ensure it will be fit for purpose. We are extremely grateful to them for the delivery of the project. When completed, it will be a cutting-edge training facility for Queen’s Medical, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Nursing and Midwifery students.
We look forward to updating you on key milestones throughout the project.
Queen’s rising to the COVID-19 challenge: The importance of simulation in healthcare
Healthcare workers have demonstrated their resolve to serve our communities and rise to the challenges presented by COVID-19, with many extending their scope of practice and working in new ways. Under the guidance of Queen’s academics, many of our healthcare profession students have entered the workforce early to make the most effective use of their skills, talents and enthusiasm in helping deliver patient centred care at this time of critical need.
At Queen’s, education colleagues within the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences have been working hard to adapt and enhance their teaching of healthcare students in such unprecedented times. Simulation based education has been pivotal in equipping our students for working in the NHS. Educators in the MHLS faculty have had to reconfigure how they provide such simulation-based education, whilst maintaining the highest standards of teaching, and social distancing.
Within the School of Nursing and Midwifery, all third-year undergraduate students received a blend of workshops, simulation, and scenario-based training to prepare for practice throughout the pandemic. Simulation-based learning addressed recognition and assessment of a deteriorating patient, timely escalation and management of care, airway management, effective team working skills, and clear communication.
Practical scenarios were run, mimicking pressurised situations, like those which could occur in practice. Learning was facilitated through immersion, reflection, feedback (in a post-scenario debrief), and practice. Workshops addressed strategies such as self-protection, self-care, how to manage stress and anxiety, and building resilience to help students work in dynamic and challenging environments. Students’ evaluations of the preparation workshops were positive:
“Feeling frightened joining the workforce six months before the completion of my course, these simulated workshops have provided immense reassurance, valuable revision and practice of skills which will be essential in caring for sick COVID-19 patients. Thank you for building my confidence and reminding me that I can do this” (Queen’s nursing student).
Additinal Queen’s staff have also utilized their skills in simulation-based education. Dr Tom Bourke (Senior Lecturer in the CME and Consultant paediatrician), together with colleagues in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, have been effectively delivering live simulation training in the care of a sick child (Simbaby) via online platforms. This allows students to develop a structured approach to assessing and managing a critically ill child, while enhancing teamwork and critical communication skills.
Covid care in the community
Queen’s educational expertise in simulation has been also utilised in enhancing care in the NHS. By means of interprofessional in situ simulation (i.e. simulation in the actual workplace), Professor Gormley and several medical students have been helping colleagues in community-based GP COVID-19 centres to further enhance their preparedness to care for patients who are acutely unwell.
As we look to the future, Queen’s is planning to open a new state of the art simulation centre - the KN Cheung SK Chin InterSim Centre which will provide world-class facilities to further enhance our medical, nursing, pharmacy and dental students’ preparedness for clinical practice. The Centre will allow students to enhance their clinical skills, in a safe environment, before transferring them into clinical practice.
The InterSim facilities will cover a range of environments where healthcare is provided – from a hospital ward, to a resuscitation suite, outpatient department, and importantly, a patient’s home environment. Thanks to funds raised by Queen’s Alumni, builders are on site - and we look forward to opening the doors to students soon. While we are waiting for a return to normal- we have a chance to change what normal is in our provision of meaningful simulation-based education for contemporary clinical practice.
For more information on what we’re doing at Queen’s to combat COVID-19, please see here.
For more information on our exciting venture, please contact Teresa Sloan:
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