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06 March 2012
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths, has unveiled a realistic simulator that will teach student nurses vital skills for the specialist care of young babies.
The ‘SimBaby’ is one of the stars of the cutting edge Caerleon Clinical Simulation Suite at the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies.
The advanced infant patient simulator has realistic anatomy and clinical functionality. Features include breathing sounds, which can vary depending on scenario, chest movement, palpable pulse, interchangeable eyes with normal, constricted and dilated pupils and vocal sounds including crying, content, coughing, and hiccupping. It will allow student nurses to practise intubation, CPR and intravenous access – procedures which could not be safely carried out in a real-life setting.
‘SimBaby’ is joined by ‘SimMan’, a full-body adult patient simulator used for the teaching of core skills including airway, breathing, cardiac and circulation management.
The Minister visited the University to open the simulation suite, and also to officially welcome Professor Billie Hunter, whose role as Professor of Midwifery, sponsored by the Royal College of Midwifes and the Welsh Government, is the first appointment of its type in the UK.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths, said: "I am delighted to officially open this impressive Clinical Simulation Suite, which will allow student midwives and nurses to practice skills in a safe environment. It is a great example of the way in which education must and does keep up with the change in clinical practice to provide a workforce with relevant skills and abilities.
"The Royal College of Midwives and Welsh Government sponsored Chair is the first of its kind in the UK and I am pleased the Welsh Government has been able to support the development of this post. I know Professor Hunter will lead midwifery research to make a real difference in this field of study and more importantly make a significant difference to women and their families, not just in Wales but across the world."
The new facilities are part of an expansion of simulation equipment at the School and the investment will see more than 1,300 student nurses and midwives each year use the simulation training equipment as part of their studies.
Speaking at the launch, Professor Sheila Hunt, Dean and Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: "These new facilities, and our recent appointment of a Royal College of Midwives Professor of Midwifery, demonstrate the School’s commitment to the development of the nursing and midwifery professions in Wales – both in terms of providing a skilled workforce, and by investing in research that directly impacts on practice.
Cardiff University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies is the largest provider of nursing and midwifery education in Wales.
Professor Hunter will lead clinical midwifery research to advance the midwifery profession and research will begin by looking at ways in which to improve the emotional support provided to women during pregnancy and childbirth, particularly in terms of communication.
Professor Billie Hunter said: "This is the first time such a position has been created, and thus is groundbreaking in terms of the development of midwifery research. It is significant that the post has been created within Wales. The role provides an important platform from which to develop high quality midwifery research that will make a real difference to the way in which midwives work, and thus to the experiences of pregnant women and their families."
Helen Rogers, Director of the Royal College of Midwives, said; "I am delighted that the Royal College of Midwives has had the opportunity to help establish this post in Wales in collaboration with Cardiff University and the Welsh Government. This is a shining example of what can be achieved by working in partnership and an historic step forward in the promotion of midwifery and midwifery research in the United Kingdom.
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