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Robotic patient gives Ingham students an edge

Cate Swannell
Med J Aust
Published online: 29 October 2013

“SimMan”, a portable and advanced human patient simulator used to test students’ clinical and decision-making skills during real-life patient care scenarios, is at the heart of the newly opened Ingham Institute Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre in Sydney.

Driven by software and interactive technology, SimMan can breathe, talk and generate heart, breath and bowel sounds to create real-life emergency scenarios for students, nurses and junior doctors to practise their craft and test their skills.

This includes treating patients with life-threatening conditions including a cardiac arrest, or managing a major trauma scenario like a car accident.

Andrea Herring, coordinator of the Simulation Centre and a veteran of 28 years as a nurse, the last nine specialising in simulated medical training, told the MJA that SimMan was the Centre’s “standout technology”.

“Simulated learning embraces experiential learning and replaces the ‘see one, do one, teach one’ mantra of medical training with the ability to learn and practise in a patient safe environment”, Ms Herring said.

“It enables students to learn, practise and repeat procedures to correct mistakes and finetune their skills, without compromising patient safety. This ultimately improves the patients’ health outcomes and saves lives. It’s the way of the future for health and medical training in Australia.

“The beauty of setting up the different scenarios is that the students’ confidence and competence levels improve and you can train them to deal with high-stress and trauma situations before they come face to face with it in the real world”, she said.

  • Cate Swannell


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