HANDS-ON TRAINING: Fifth-year Monash University medical student Nalian Ibrahim took part in this week’s Inter-professional Education simulation at Monash Rural Health Mildura. The simulation made use of Monash Rural Health’s state-of-the-art ‘Sim Man’.


MONASH Rural Health Mildura and La Trobe University students joined forces this week to take part in a unique, hands-on and life-like training scenario.

The training simulation formed part of Monash Rural Health Mildura’s series of Inter-professional Education (IPE) simulation days, which involve the collaboration and co-ordination of patient care by students on medical, nursing and allied health placements locally.

The aim of IPE is to arm students with the skills and expertise needed to provide patient care in a collaborative team environment.

This week’s simulation saw four Monash Rural Health Mildura final-year medical students, and three La Trobe nursing and two La Trobe social work students take part, and included the use of Monash Rural Health’s state-of-the-art ‘Sim Man’.

The Sim Man is able to react to treatments, medication etc. in the same manner as a normal human being, and in real time, providing students with access to “as close to the real thing as possible.”

This week’s scenario was split into three stages, and started with the ‘patient’ in question being found ‘unconscious’ by a friend. Ambulance services were called to the scene, the patient was ‘assessed’, and brought into the ‘emergency department’ for further treatment.

The nature of the patient’s emergency was kept confidential as part of the exercise, again mimicking real life while also preserving the simulation for future use.

When the Mildura Weekly arrived at the simulation, medical and nursing students were attending to the patient, with Allied Health Educator, and observer for the day, Andrina Mitcham, saying the scenario was designed to be as real as possible.

“For example, we’ve just had an IT guy at the hospital contact the medical team to tell them that services are down, and that if they have to order tests they will have to do so by hand with paperwork etc.,” she said.

“Another element of the simulation is that there are no senior doctors available, so it’s really up to the team on the ground to treat the patient. It’s all about throwing scenarios at these students that may happen in real life, and seeing how they overcome or deal with the issues.

“Once this acute case is over and the patient is stable, that’s where the social work students come in, while our medical staff will look at discharge procedures and what needs to be put in place.”

Ms Mitcham said the biggest role of the IPE was helping students learn more about other health professions, and the role they play in an emergency scenario.

“In the past these professions would have been very isolated in their training, and would never have had the chance to train alongside each other,” she said. “IPE builds understanding, with the approach today focused on that interdisciplinary team approach to patient management, and getting that understanding of the role of doctors, nurses, social workers etc.”

Students were set to undergo a debrief following the exercise, providing a chance to review their performance, and further enhance the learning experience.

Monash Rural Health lecturer, Dr Travis Taggart, who was overseeing the day’s scenario, said the real-life aspect of the training was a vital aspect.

“This is as close as you get to the real thing,” he said. “The concept of IPE is also quite new for Monash Rural Health, and the benefits are numerous.

“It really does help the students understand the role each profession plays in an emergency scenario, while providing a great opportunity to get hands-on in the same environment.”

Third-year La Trobe University nursing student Brittney Poole was among the students to take part, and said she had found the experience “as close to the real thing” as possible.

Monash Rural Health has two more IPE days planned for 2018.