Meet our Clinical Skills and Simulation Coordinators!

A Clinical Skills Coordinator, or Clinical Simulation Technician, is a member of support staff who provide technical, computer, administrative and team working skills to the Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre. Their role is key to ensuring that simulation sessions run smoothly, providing an excellent experience for students and staff.

Here at Edge Hill University we have a team of three Clinical Skills and Simulation Coordinators – Beth Spencer, Coordinator at our Ormskirk campus, Hayley McArthur at our Alder Hey Institute in the Park facility, and Aggie Sumera, Coordinator at our Manchester St James’ site. We caught up with them recently to talk about their roles in Clinical Skills, highlighting the good, the bad, and the funny!

Spotlight on: Aggie Sumera

Aggie, what do you enjoy about your role here at Edge Hill University?

I love working with students and academics and seeing how students develop their skills and knowledge over time, becoming clinicians. I like the fact that the job is hands-on and that through simulation, we can make education fun. 

Who uses the facilities at our Manchester St James’ site?

In Manchester, we facilitate sessions for mainly Operating Department Practice (ODP) and Paramedic students.

What 3 ‘Top Tips’ would you give to someone considering the role of a Clinical Skills and Simulation Technician?

Try to gain a better understanding of what the professions entail, as this helped me a lot! Even simply looking into a textbook on basic aspects of care that Paramedics or ODPs deliver helped me to be better at my job and enjoy it.

What’s your favourite piece of kit?

I love the make up kit. I really enjoy preparing simulated patients for scenarios!

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you as a Technician?

It is hard to pick one thing, but I find our students’ sense of humour really funny. For example, after completing a case scenario, they realised that they had accidentally left the patient’s amputated limb on scene. It was a very good learning point for them, by the way!

Spotlight on: Hayley McArthur

Hayley, what do you enjoy about your role here at Edge Hill University?

This is a very varied role, no two days are the same. One day I could be operating a manikin for a scenario in Edge Hill University, next I could spend the day in a fire station with the EHU paramedic students and fire service, doing moulage for scenarios such as a road traffic collision.

Operating the manikins can be quite good because if students haven’t used them before and are nervous seeing them at first, it’s nice to see their attitude towards them changing as they become more comfortable throughout the scenario. Even when the manikin doesn’t answer some of the questions the way they would like, for example, the student may ask ‘What is your pain level on a scale from 1-10?’ and the manikin could answer ‘yes’. This is because we have pre-selected answers.  

Who uses our Alder Hey Institute in the Park facilities?

Our site at Alder Hey Institute in the Park is still fairly new and we are currently developing specific programmes, however we have recently facilitated simulation sessions for Children’s Nursing and Operating Department Practice students.

What 3 ‘Top Tips’ would you give to someone considering the role of a Clinical Skills and Simulation Technician?

My Top Tips are:

1- Some days may be a challenge, but they will also be rewarding.

2- It is really varied.

3- The possibilities really are endless on what you can do!

What’s your favourite piece of kit?

My favourite piece of kit is Noelle, our birthing manikin. I think Noelle is an amazing piece of kit and the midwives really benefit from using her.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you as a Technician?

Whilst filming ‘The Life of Derek’ for Healthcare Simulation Week we carried 2 right arms and Derek’s legs across campus to film at the gym. 😊 We had some very strange looks whilst filming, and also when walking to/from Edge Hill Sport!

Spotlight on: Beth Spencer

Beth, what do you enjoy about your role here at Edge Hill University?

I enjoy working with our academic staff by helping them plan simulation and skills sessions for our students.

Who uses the facilities at our campus here in Ormskirk?

Our clinical skills and simulation rooms are used by all Health, Social Care and Medicine professions at Ormskirk. It’s a really busy area of the faculty which is well used each week and in addition to this we also hold taster events for local schools and colleges. Quite often our facilities are also used by Edge Hill media students and external film companies.

What 3 ‘Top Tips’ would you give to someone considering the role of a Clinical Skills and Simulation Technician?

My three top tips would be; 1) Join a technician WhatsApp or Facebook group for hints, tips and networking. 2) Get to know different types of simulation equipment. 3) Visit a local simulation centre and talk to the Technician – you could even ask to sit in on a simulation session to give you an idea of what the role involves.

What’s your favourite piece of kit?

I like setting up the Venepuncture arms and seeing them in use! This particular piece of kit helps our students learn and practice how to take a blood sample from the arm, and how to insert a cannula. (They are a pain to clean afterwards but you get used to it! 😊)

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you as a Technician?

There are plenty of funny things which happen each day as the job is so varied! One which particularly stands out to me though was when the manikin’s leg completely came off when a student lifted the foot up. This was not part of the scenario!

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