Other projects Dr RossAdjie is working on include a study of the maternity care needs of fly-in fly-out families and an investigation of the reasons behind a marked decline in breastfeeding rates by six months after birth.
Prue Andrus believes teaching is in her blood – and the Murdoch University nursing lecturer has the track record to prove it.
A registered nurse, Ms Andrus has at various points in her life also qualified as a scuba diving, sky diving and first aid instructor.
She also spent six years in the Australian Defence Force Reserves, where she found herself training medics.
“Teaching is a natural method of communication for me and education is a big part of what a registered nurse does in normal daily practice – we are constantly educating our patients and colleagues – so it was an easy transition,” she said.
Ms Andrus began teaching at Murdoch University in 2006 and is the current academic lead for simulation across the Bachelor of Nursing program.
“Education is such an inspiring field to work in and part of our job is to research and find the best evidencebacked teaching practices and that’s where simulation comes in,” she said. Murdoch University nursing lecturer Prue Andrus.
“It’s a method that is really enjoyable to teach and use because its easy to see the impact on learners and you can watch them grow across semesters and throughout the three-year curriculum.”
Simulated hospital wards populated by life-like mannequins have become increasingly integral to nursing curriculums over the past decade.
“When I first started in 2006, isolated lecturers would use simulation now and again but the momentum has grown over the last 10 years so that simulation is now firmly embedded across all units and years,” Ms Andrus said.
“It makes learning a lot more holistic; students have to approach a mannequin in bed and introduce themselves, look at the medical notes and work out the patient’s issue, go to the drug room, choose and prepare the correct medication and then go back to the ward to administer, complete documentation and do postcare.”
Last year Murdoch University duplicated its Mandurah simulation suite at its South Street Campus and Ms Andrus now splits her time between both locations.
She has been selected as a one of three finalists in the Excellence in Teaching category of the awards.