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Practice makes perfect for patients at Bishop Auckland Hospital simulation centre

clinical simulation centre

A high-tech clinical simulation centre based at Bishop Auckland Hospital is giving clinicians across the region the chance to practice their skills in a state of the art facility, equipped with the very latest simulation training technology.

We have invested over £410k in the centre, and manager, Jessica Grainger, explains, "We have a 'family' of life-sized manikins which can be programmed to replicate a multitude of scenarios including strokes, heart attacks and road accident injuries.  The manikins include an adult male, a pregnant woman, a child around eight, a one year old and a new born baby. They each have a pulse, heart beat and can even bleed and cry.

"We recreate real life clinical situations, giving staff at all levels a chance to hone their skills and knowledge in a risk free, confidential, environment.   Members of our team take on the roles of other clinical staff who may be present, so it's as true to life as possible. The technology we have means that on the other side of a glass screen, when a senior doctor speaks into a microphone, his words come out of the 'patient's' mouth.  It's just about as realistic as it can be.

"Exercises are filmed and also shown, as they happen, in the debrief room, for shared learning and reflection."

Lead clinician at the simulation centre, Dr Derek Randles, adds, "In addition to training on specific clinical situations, we also run courses around common themes, such as communication. In reality, when the pressure's on, human factors can greatly enhance the quality of care patients receive.   In addition to learning about best clinical practice, simulation exercises can also be used to show each of us how we react in circumstances we may not have faced previously, and the importance of our  behaviour and reactions.   Ultimately, our aim is to ensure patients get the best possible care and experience from staff who can act decisively and with confidence."

'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough - could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'

Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital