Friday, 15 June 2012
The Hon. Dr Kim Hames, Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Tourism visited ECU this week, taking a tour of the University’s world-class Health Simulation Centre.
The Centre specialises in developing better communication, teamwork and leadership skills to enhance work readiness for health students, as well as upskill health professionals.
The Centre demonstrated the breadth of its scope of work, delivering a scenario tackling the issue of depression. ECU recognises the critical need to ensure all health students have better skills at identifying the indicators of mental health problems, understanding how to ask if someone is not coping, understanding their own limitations and boundaries and what strategies are available that can provide support.
“Learning through simulation can be a serious value add in health education and training, particularly in mental health, addressing gaps where it’s hard to get clinical experience,” Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Advancement) and Chair in Mental Health Professor Cobie Rudd said.”
“Simulation teaches students how to ask the hard questions when it’s evident someone isn’t coping with their stressors.”
Professor Rudd believes student feedback says it all. Following a recent student-focussed simulation of a mental health crisis situation, students shared how the approach has helped them to know how to “Look for signs, picked correct setting, show empathy and listen, remain objective, and ask the right questions”.
“Students learned how to speak up when they feel there is a problem, ask hard questions and make time for the people you work with or live with,” Professor Rudd said.
ECU’s Health Simulation Centre was awarded the contract from the West Australian Government to supply High Fidelity Simulation Training for the State last year.
This contract now sees the Centre delivering a series of courses including the Effective Management of Anaesthetic Crises and Advanced and Complex Medical Emergencies in conjunction with the Australia & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine respectively.
Leading the Simulation Centre, Professor Rudd received the first National Teaching Fellow, funded by the Australian Government Learning and Teaching Office, in the field of simulation in health. Her Fellowship aims to enhance the uptake of learning through simulation on a national scale.
For more information visit the ECU Health Simulation Centre webpage.