New £1.5 million healthcare simulation facilities to open at Aston University

New £1.5 million healthcare simulation facilities to open at Aston University

December 21, 20212 min read

New clinical simulation facilities for medical, pharmacy and optometry students are set to open in 2022 Including an ocular simulation unit facility which will be the only one in Europe, as part of further investment in clinical facilities in the College of Health and Life Sciences at Aston University.

The facilities are part funded by the Office for Students which awarded the University £806,226 to set up a ‘high fidelity’ simulation A&E room with further expenditure by Aston University on an ocular simulation unit.

Aston Medical and Pharmacy School students will be able to practise in emergency settings using high quality manikins where they will simulate treating patients for acute conditions such as a heart attack or learning how to intubate a patient onto a ventilator.

The high-fidelity acute care simulation room will be equipped with recording facilities, a debrief room and control room. The funding will allow for the purchase of other training equipment such as a hospital grade bed and single task trainer simulation equipment. For example, male and female catheterisation models, pelvic and rectal trainers, venepuncture arms, breast trainers and abdominal trainers.

Professor Liz Moores, deputy dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences, said:

“We are really excited to have the support from both the Office for Students and Aston University in building these state-of-the-art facilities for our students and can’t wait to start using them.

“The acute care simulation room will allow us to simulate a variety of emergency resuscitation scenarios that are very difficult to teach in real life situations, such as heart attacks, acute breathlessness and severe allergic reaction and will be of great value in training students of medicine and pharmacy.”

Students in the School of Optometry will also be equipped with simulation facilities to carry out treatment on patients.

Professor James Wolffsohn, head of the School of Optometry said:

“The ocular simulation facility at Aston University will be unique in Europe, allowing students to refine their skills in examining the health of the front and back of the eyes and to experience a wide range of eye disease.

“One of the simulators even allows them to utilise their smartphone to practice at home. They can gain direct feedback and be assessed by the simulators, allowing more flexible, diverse and intensive learning than can be achieved with clinical practice placements.”

It is hoped these facilities will help plug some of the gaps in clinical placements that are currently affecting students since the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the pandemic, alternative ways are being explored to gain high quality authentic ‘clinical’ experiences, whilst not exposing patients, staff, or students, to risk. The health crisis has also increased pressure on the NHS creating a need for alternative but appropriate training facilities, to ensure that students are fully prepared for the medical profession.

The simulation facilities are due to be open in time for the September 2022 intake of students.

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