Health Sciences launches simulated hospital environment for Physiotherapy students

1 October 2013

A six bed hospital ward and a rehabilitation outpatient gymnasium to serve as a clinical simulation facility for Physiotherapy students at the Faculty of Health Science was officially opened on 17 September.

The facility provides students with hands-on experience before undertaking traditional clinical placement in the acute cardiopulmonary area or the rehabilitation/neurological area of practice. "The development of the clinical simulation facility is very exciting as it will provide authentic clinical learning experiences under the guidance of expert clinical educators and is a great opportunity to bridge the gap between academic and clinical teaching" said Jennifer Alison, Professor of Respiratory Physiotherapy and Project Coordinator.

Within the environment of the facility, students are able to assess and treat 'patients' who portray a range of conditions based on real patient cases, including cystic fibrosis, post-operative coronary artery bypass graft surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke and more. The 'patients' are highly experienced actors sourced through the Pam McLean Communications Centre at the University of Sydney. An advantage of using actors as 'patients' is their ability to assess the student's performance from a patient perspective and provide feedback to enhance student learning, which rarely happens in the real clinical situation.

"The students say that it has helped them gain confidence, as well as clinical and professional skills in a very supportive environment" Professor Alison said.

There are plans to incorporate simulation into other disciplines during 2014.

Volunteers Needed - Physiotherapy Clinical Simulation Project 2014

We are seeking volunteers who would like to be involved in an exciting new direction in clinical education using simulation for physiotherapy students at the University of Sydney.
The project will evaluate replacing the initial part of traditional clinical education with simulation. Professional actors will portray patients with a range of disorders for the students to assess and treat.

This simulation project at the University of Sydney is part of a nationwide study being conducted with funding from Health Work Australia (HWA) investigating the role of simulation in physiotherapy clinical education.

If you have questions or would like to register your interest, please see the link below or contact Christina Darwell (Project Manager)
E: T: 9351 9191