The Edge of Health

Author: Rachael Martin

Healthcare Simulation Week 14th – 18th 2020, Helen Henderson, Head of Simulation and Skills Education shares her experiences and optimism for the future.

A year ago during Healthcare Sim Week 2019 we were busy getting ready to move into our new Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre here at Edge Hill University and for those of you who can remember Derek, he was busy packing and looking forward to finally getting into in his new home.

Enjoy the rest of this story at:

The Role of the Facilitator during COVID-19

Our Simulation and Clinical Skills Facilitator, Agnieszka Sumera, talks about how her role has adapted in the current climate.

I have been experiencing a lot of challenges and opportunities at the same time during the pandemic.

Due to this new situation, I can no longer work in the way I used to before the pandemic

This new situation meant that I have had to adapt to new ways of working.

I continued to hold meetings where we planned future simulation sessions for students returning. I also delivered virtual development sessions for the staff members with an aim to carry on with my objectives to work on improving the standards of simulation at our institution.

Several measures were put in place to prepare the Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre. Students and staff are sent guidance and instructions before they attend simulation sessions. Session scheduling is more complex than usual too with a restricted number of students allowed at the centre. We run more simulation days with fewer people attending.

We were working very hard to make our Centre safe to be used again, and we did it!

On 28th April, we brought in the first NHS staff to engage with simulation scenarios based on COVID-19.

Scenarios were based on infection control, symptoms recognition, leadership, patient transfer, teamwork, communication and decision-making. F1 and F2 doctors improved on the systems and development of new standard operating procedures and policies needed to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

I learned a lot from aspects of the crisis experience which helped me to develop plans on how to use simulation to prepare organisations and healthcare students to respond to the unexpected and extraordinary situation in the future.

In July, nursing students returned and engaged in simulation scenarios on recognising signs of deteriorating patient, good communication, teamwork, using NEWS2 and  SBAR.
PA students completed simulation scenarios practising mental state examination, professional communication, conflict resolution and nutrition assessment.

Simulation-based education proves to be exceptionally useful at the time like this. Through the use of our facilities, we can continue to provide high-quality and safe education, as well as offer some help to the new or returning NHS staff.

Agnieszka Sumera

Simulation and Clinical Skills Facilitator

An brief insight into the role of Ian Ballard, Senior Simulation and Skills Technician

See below a short demonstration of how Ian introduces how the manikin is connected and controlled remotely from the external control room for taking pulse, blood pressure readings etc

Clinical Simulation Sessions during COVID19 – setting up the ‘Simbulance’ at St James’ Manchester

As we described in a previous blog, the biggest change to our practical sessions has been student numbers. Luke Hinchliffe, Simulation and Skills Support Assistant based at St James’ Manchester demonstrates how he cleans the ‘simulation ambulance’ before and after every session.

Luke says, in the past there would be maybe 4 or 5 students alongside the tutor in the back of the ambulance but now, due to social distancing guidelines, we can only allow 2 students at a time and they will have to wear full PPE due to the small space although the lab itself is quite large and is well ventilated.

Find out more about our facility at St James’ Manchester here

Clinical Skills Sessions during COVID19

As the staff and students begin to trickle back to a ‘new normal’ way teaching and learning, I met with Beth Spencer, one of our Clinical Skills Support Co-ordinators to find out how setting up and breaking down sessions has changed as new COVID measures are introduced.

Beth explains that the biggest challenge is the decrease in the number of students able to practice skills at any one time. ‘We would regularly have 10 to 20 students per session but now we can only accommodate a maximum of 6 around any workstation’

Other changes include the following:

  • All staff, students and visitors are asked to wash their hands upon entering the building and are encouraged to use the hand sanitisers located throughout.
  • The doors all remain open to avoid touching the handles.
  • The windows remain open to provide ventilation, however there is air conditioning units in all rooms which provide freshly circulate air from outside.
  • All staff and students must wear PPE which is provided upon entering the room, this includes a disposable apron, gloves and face mask. All PPE equipment is disposed of and students wash their hands before leaving the room.
  • Students only bring the equipment needed for the session, all other belongings are left in lockers.
  • The surfaces and all equipment are fully sanitised before and after each session. Alongside Facilities Management staff who regularly clean the building throughout the day.
  • The room is then aired for an hour after each session and before the next group of students are allowed in.
  • To further help with social distancing, each floor of the building is on staggered start times so traffic on the corridors and in communal areas is kept to a minimum.

Watch as Beth demonstrates setting up equipment for day to day clinical skills sessions such as venepuncture, injection technique, cannulation and catheterisation in the clinical skills labs.

Celebrating Healthcare Simulation Week 14th – 18th September at Edge Hill University

Simulation is a practice learning technique used at Edge Hill University to enhance the confidence and skills of our Health and Social Care students. It is a technique which aims to replicate ‘real-life’ patient scenarios, providing a safe space in which students can work together and demonstrate their skills in an immersive and controlled environment.

Simulation and Skills Education is based within our Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre at our Ormskirk Campus, alongside St James’ in Manchester City Centre and facilities at Alder Hey’s Institute in the Park. You can learn more about our Simulation and Skills Education facilities below:

Alder Hey Institute in the Park

Healthcare Simulation Week was created to celebrate the work of global professionals who use simulation and to raise awareness nationwide about how healthcare simulation is leading to safer patient care.

You can follow along with Healthcare Simulation Week 2020 at Edge Hill University on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels linked below.

Don’t forget to check out the full Healthcare Simulation Week campaign too, by following @HcSimWeek and #HcSimWeek20 on Twitter!

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