The Edge of Health

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Emergency Simulation | Ashton-Under-Lyne Fire Station

Edge Hill University Simulation Technicians, Aggie and Hayley, recently joined a group of second year student Paramedics facing a series of emergency situations at Ashton-Under-Lyne Fire Station in a recent simulation collaboration.

The two-day event was structured into three scenarios, with students being asked to respond to a range of simulated emergencies.

As simulation support staff, Hayley and Aggie provided trauma make-up services to casualties, which made each scenario feel more realistic. Students were invited to try this too, enhancing their skillset and making the session even more engaging.

All scenarios involved Fire service and Paramedic students together as they were challenged to work as a team to provide the best care and treatment.

Lecturers from both Fire and Paramedic backgrounds were also present to observe the students on scene, and at the end of each scenario facilitated a debrief of what went well, what didn’t go well, and areas for improvement. All students were keen to be involved in this discussion, as it provided them with the opportunity to share their views and experience.

#MeetTheManikins – Noelle

Meet Noelle – Maternal Care Patient Simulator, Birthing Simulator, and not-so-secret-crush of Edge Hill Simulation Manikin, Derek. (See #TheLifeOfDerek on Twitter)

Noelle is a full-sized, articulating, full-body female manikin who provides our students with a complete birthing simulation experience before, during and after delivery. Together with a Resuscitation baby, Noelle’s comprehensive teaching system combines one of the best patient care simulators in Advanced Childbirth simulation.

Noelle works very closely with our team of simulation staff to create different scenarios for our student midwives, using her range of impressive simulation features. These include: Producing fetal heart sounds, shoulder dystocia, a dilating cervix, postpartum activity and a realistic uterus to name just a few.

And she didn’t join us alone! Not only did Noelle join Edge Hill University with Resuscitation baby, but also with various other additions such as umbilical cords, vulval inserts, umbilical clamps, dilating cervices and more.

Now poor Noelle barely rests, and as giving birth (up to five times!) each day would take its toll on any manikin, we felt it was only fair to give her a break. And so, we’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our Midwifery simulation kit – Victoria!

Victoria is described as ‘The world’s most lifelike childbirth simulator’ and can replicate scenarios from early pregnancy complications, high-risk deliveries and postpartum emergencies. And whilst she is similar to Noelle in many ways, Victoria also possesses many different features including interactive eye movements, and the ability to simulate breech deliveries and c-section deliveries.

As we’re currently in the process of moving into our new Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre, Victoria is yet to be unboxed and so doesn’t have a profile photo just yet… But don’t worry, we’re sure you’ll see both Victoria, and Noelle, around campus very soon!

Coming Soon to Social Work Simulation

Emma Rimmer is one of our Practice Education Lecturers and also Social Work Lead for Simulation here at Edge Hill University. We recently caught up with Emma to find out exactly what the future holds in terms of Social Work Simulation.

‘The Integrated Masters in Nursing and Social Work programme is planning a simulation exercise for our new third year students in the PUP3260 (Enhancing Confidence and Capability for Integrated Practice).

Without giving too much away, my colleague, John Morgan and I wanted to create a simulated scenario for our students across both the Nursing and Social Work profession, and therefore we are going to simulate a scenario in the new Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre suite that will test our students to ensure that they are developing skills in all areas of assessing, treating, and managing a patients health and social care needs.

We are hoping that this simulation day will prepare our students for their integrated placement in the fourth year of their programme.’

To learn more about our new Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre here at Edge Hill University, please visit here.

South Africa | Emergency Medical Care Rescue Exercise

Seven EHU Paramedic students recently joined three other universities in addition to further colleges and provincial services in a large scale training and simulation exercise in South Africa. Organised and facilitated by the University of Johannesburg, Rescue South Africa was also a large contributor in providing organisation and equipment.

The event consisted of training days to familiarise students with the equipment as well as each other. The equipment used was also not familiar to most of the local students which assisted in the learning process.

The days started early with a 5:30am to 6:00am wake up, and preparation included vehicle and equipment sessions ready for the day ahead.

Students endured scenarios which included high angle rope rescues mixed in with harsh environments such as the slippery slopes of a disused quarry, where an unfortunate simulated patient had fallen and suffered a fracture and severe head injury. There were confined space rescues where a gas explosion had gone off inside a dam wall, and students were tasked with finding a severely burnt patient in pitch black darkness. All scenarios were simulated with live patients, smoke, sound and realistic aspects ensuring extremely high-fidelity scenarios.

In total, the scenarios in South Africa included the following:

  1. An island search and rescue event
  2. Dam wall with extrication and rope rescue
  3. Confined space rescue
  4. Quarry with low angle and rope rescue
  5. Boat capsize incident

Students were also exposed to helicopter evacuations as we had the support of a government helicopter which assisted in the removal of patients to our field hospital which was manned by students at all times.

Multiple rescues were happening simultaneously and managed at the HQ by students, as this provided an opportunity to enhance their knowledge in resource management as well as the roles of incident commanders and radio communications. All students were given equal opportunities at all exercises and exposed to the most realistic simulated patients.

Another element of the South Africa training exercises involved learning about how, as a ‘rescuer’, to rescue yourself if something goes wrong. One such exercise included a simulated aircraft, in which a crash occurred in the evening with limited light. Participants were placed in the dam just over one mile away from shore and expected to swim to safety in an appropriate manner whereby each member looked after one and other. Students were prepared beforehand to look out for signs of hypothermia, as well as injuries and how to manage them in the water.

All exercises are completed by lecturing staff beforehand to ensure safety and moderation, and no students are expected to do something that a lecturer has either not done previously, or is not completing with them.

The Emergency Medical Care Rescue Exercise trip to South Africa has provided students from all campuses and universities with valuable life lessons and skills that will enhance their practice for the future. In addition, they have made friends for life and now hold this once-in-a-lifetime experience to cherish forever.

-Rory McKelvin, Edge Hill University Lecturer in Paramedic Practice and Pre-Hospital Care

The Simbulance

Our site at Manchester St James’ provides an extensive modern clinical simulation suite, including a mock operating theatre, ambulance simulator and clinical skills stations. A 3D immersive simulation suite enables you to practice clinical scenarios in a realistic, supportive and safe environment, and additional facilities include an open plan library and IT resources.

The ambulance setup at St James’, or as we like to call it, the ‘Simbulance’ is used by our Paramedic students. We can simulate any type of ambulance call as well as teach our students how to work as a team with a limited number of players, in a very limited amount of space.

Our student Paramedics use the Simbulance for most of their scenarios; for example, transporting a patient in critical condition to the facility and then working all types of treatment on the patient in the back. They learn how to move the patient safely in and out of the Simbulance, using the correct techniques to avoid injuring themselves or their backs in the process.

Our Simbulance replicates what kind of environment students will be working in once fully qualified – from the emergency situation, to how the equipment and supplies in a working Ambulance are set up. The facility is designed and arranged in exactly the same format as a real Ambulance would be on the road.

We have observation cameras installed within the vehicle which allow our simulation team and clinical training leads to observe the scenario. In addition, the training team provide feedback and students can review their simulation retrospectively. This enhances our students’ learning experience and improves their professional development.

An observation screen is due to be installed on the exterior of Simbulance in the near future, providing others with the chance to watch the simulation scenario taking place in real-time whilst removing distractions and pressure from the candidates involved within the facility.

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!

#MeetTheManikins | Ariel and Cliff

Let us introduce you to the faculty twins, Ariel and Cliff – Our very own child simulation manikins!  👋👋

Ariel and Cliff, known as the MegaCode Kids, are used by our students in a range of different simulated scenarios including CPR, Trauma, First Aid and more. They help us to practice our skills and work together to improve patient outcomes and experiences.

Now Ariel and Cliff are no strangers around the faculty! They live in our Better at Home Suite with Derek, Noelle and the rest of our simulation family, and as you’ll see in tonight’s episode of ‘The Life of Derek’, they’re always up to mischief!

Simulating the bodies of human children, Ariel and Cliff have realistic airways which allow our students to practice the insertion of standard airway devices. They also boast ‘multi-venous paediatric IV arms’, which means we can inject them with helpful medicines and drips on the ward if required.

Not only do Ariel and Cliff look and feel human, but they also have a heartbeat and regulated breathing functionality. We can change their breathing and heart rates depending on the scenario, and this helps us to provide our students with a realistic experience when learning to look after patients. 

Student Profile | Emma Wafer

Emma graduated from Edge Hill University in July 2017 with a First Class Honours Degree in Nutrition and Health.

‘Whilst in my third year at  Edgehill University studying BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Health one of my modules entitled, Personal Career Development, required me to complete a  placement in order for me to pass the course. One of the key focus points of the module was the transition process from study to the working environment with the focus on increasing key transferable and employability skills.

With ambitions to work with Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP), I carried out a work  placement at Nutricia.

My role was in the Product Development team, assisting Technicians with various testing, shadowing Technologists and working within the sensory lab.  I  was provided with the materials and resources needed to complete work relating to my university module but also  gained vital work experience within this industry.”

As Emma made a great impression, we asked her to extend her time in our Quality Department for a further 2 months, doing data entry for the China FSMP submission of new  products into China. 

After leaving Nutricia Emma kept an eye on our careers site and in contact with colleagues and came across the opportunity to apply for a role with the Productivity, security of Supply and capability team as Product Technician for Project Libra. Successfully applied and was recruited to commenced in summer 2017

Her role is supporting the implementation of changes to existing products as part of a continuous improvement programme to meet new legislation and market requirements

Emma’s first 3 months – she has already featured in company newsletter ! ‘Danone contributes to the learning and progression of its  employees.’

“The training and mentorship I have received from people within the company not only allowed me to take full advantage of opportunities during my placement enabling me to complete my portfolio to a high standard, but enhanced my employability.  Three months in, my personal development journey continues…”

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