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New Simulation Centre gives medical students practical experience

June 2010

The University of Otago, Christchurch, has opened a new education Simulation Centre for training medical students and other health professionals.

Alex the human simulator - Photo courtesy of The PressThe Simulation Centre is home to the latest human simulator – who has been named Alex.

Alex is a life-like, computerised manikin who can simulate myriad conditions such as heart failure, trauma and diabetes. He can be programmed to speak, bleed, cough and pass urine, as a patient would in real-life medical scenarios.

Students are able to practise techniques such as resuscitation on Alex and to track his response to treatments and medications.

Alex is the first human simulator of his kind in New Zealand and latest technology.

In addition to Alex, the Simulation Centre has a range of other medical models including arms for practising taking blood and putting in intravenous drips.

The Simulation Centre has rooms set up like a GP's surgery, a hospital ward room and an emergency department resuscitation area.

University of Otago, Christchurch, Simulation Centre director Dr MaryLeigh Moore says it allows students to develop their skills in a manner which is consistent with current best practice in medical education.

Students practice their skills at the University of Otago Christchurch Simulation Centre - Photo courtesy of The Press“The Simulation Centre provides students with opportunities to practise a range of clinical skills in a safe setting before performing them on patients. This includes not only technical procedures but other skills such as communication and teamwork.”

“ Because the Centre mimics real health care settings, students are learning skills in context and are also able to practise appropriate professional behaviours.”

Photos courtesy of The Press

Update on the new Clinical Skills teaching facility

February 8th 2010.

As you may be aware the University is developing a new clinical skills teaching facility.

It will be called the “University of Otago Christchurch Simulation Centre” or “UOCSC” or “UOC Simulation Centre.” The name reflects the fact that the centre will use simulation-based learning methods to develop clinical and professional skills. The learning activities will range from the use of relatively simple models and manikins through more sophisticated human simulators and simulated- patients i.e. actors. In addition there are mock or simulated health care environments including a GP/Outpatient type consultation room, a hospital ward room and a resuscitation area. This enables much of the learning to be developed through mock clinical scenarios.

The Centre will be open from March 1st although it will be some time before it is fully operational and officially opened. All University bookings which had been made in the CSU (Clinical Skills Unit) have been transferred to the new Simulation Centre.

Just as the facility is still under development so is our webpage.

For now it really only has our location and contacts. Please do contact us with any enquiries or requests for bookings.

Dr MaryLeigh Moore
Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre Director
Ph: +64 3 3643893

Dr Niki Newman
Simulation Centre Fellow and Manager
Ph: +64 3 3643892

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