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Investing in the future of our healthcare work force

7 April 2017

Stephen Griffiths, WEDS visiting Simulation Suite

The School of Healthcare Sciences has opened a brand new education facility, providing students with access to mock operating theatres and recovery rooms.

The Pen y Fan Simulation Suite, located in Eastgate House on Newport Road, was opened on Wednesday 5th April by Stephen Griffiths of NHS Wales’ Workforce, Education and Development Services (WEDS), who provided the funding for the development of the new facilities.

Realistic simulation suites such as this one provide an authentic, but non-threatening environment in which to introduce students to the key clinical skills they will need while out in practice. They are a safe environment in which students can practise and develop both routine and complex skills, building their confidence so they are fully prepared for practice.

As well as being of benefit to students, these training facilities contribute to patient safety – ensuring that students are confident with the equipment they encounter, and thus able to focus on patient care.

The suite is comprised of two mock operating theatres which replicate real hospital operating theatres, as well as four practice rooms for developing core skills around basic life support, manual handling, recovery and complex care. As well as practising core skills and techniques, students are able to experience and manage real-life patient scenarios, with the mock theatres providing a fully immersive experience including sounds and smells as well as equipment. Central to these scenarios are the suite’s simulation manikins, which allow students to practice everything from taking observations to complex intubations, as well as softer skills such as patient communication.

Stephen Griffiths using equipment in Simulation Suite

Head of School Professor Heather Waterman said: “These new facilities provide our students with the best possible environment in which to learn the practical skills they will need once they are qualified practitioners...”

“Students both enjoy and benefit from practical sessions in simulated environments, and are hugely enthusiastic about these new facilities and the positive impact on their learning.”

Stephen Griffiths, Director of WEDS, said: “I was delighted to be asked to formally open the new facilities at Cardiff University. The complexity and significance of activity in healthcare settings can be daunting to students. By providing them with access to simulated environments that mirror that they will experience in real hospitals, we enable them to develop in to skilled practitioners who are confident in their delivery of care which can make a hugely beneficial difference to the patient experience.”

The facility also provides opportunities for students to engage in the study of non-technical skills related to the ’human factors’, such as communication, leadership and situational awareness. Research suggests this combination of high quality technical and non-technical skills is essential to ensuring the safety of patients.

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