A true-to-life sim­u­lated pa­tient

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - STAR EDUCATION FAIR 2013 -

At the start of the new aca­demic year at New­cas­tle Univer­sity Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) there was an un­usual ar­rival. Sven did not pro­vide any aca­demic cre­den­tials in ad­vance; nei­ther did he pay any tu­ition fees.

In fact, NUMed made a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment to bring him on board.

this is be­cause Sven is not a stu­dent or a lec­turer.

He is ac­tu­ally a sim­u­lated pa­tient, used for spe­cial med­i­cal train­ing pur­poses.

Since his ar­rival, Sven has be­come a cen­tral part of the learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at NUMed and has rev­o­lu­tionised the way that med­i­cal train­ing is de­liv­ered at the univer­sity.

In fact, he is so pop­u­lar with the stu­dents that the univer­sity thought he needed his own name.

the name Sven was cho­sen in hon­our of his de­vel­op­ment by a Swedish com­pany.

Sven gets in­volved in a va­ri­ety of train­ing sce­nar­ios to pre­pare the med­i­cal stu­dents for ev­ery­thing from stan­dard clin­i­cal pro­ce­dures to acute care sit­u­a­tions.

Stu­dents can prac­tise tech­niques to clear a pa­tient’s air­way or in­sert an in­tra­venous drip line into a vein, as well as treat acute care emer­gen­cies such as heart at­tack or sep­tic shock.

Sven is so true-to-life that he re­acts to the treat­ments he is re­ceiv­ing.

He coughs, he talks and he breathes. In fact, he has even “died” sev­eral times.

Ac­cord­ing to Pro­fes­sor Bradley, Aca­demic Dean at NUMed, this is a cru­cial part of the learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

He said: “Sven, our sim­u­lated pa­tient, adds a whole new di­men­sion to the learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, al­low­ing stu­dents to go be­yond the­o­ries taught in the class­room and re­ceive hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence in crit­i­cal care sit­u­a­tions. they can learn from their mis­takes in a risk free en­vi­ron­ment.”

Pa­tient sim­u­la­tion has tra­di­tion­ally been as­so­ci­ated with real-life vol­un­teers role­play­ing as med­i­cal pa­tients.

this in­ter­ac­tive train­ing method is one of the ways the stu­dents’ pro­fes­sional com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills are de­vel­oped to fa­cil­i­tate the de­liv­ery of pa­tient-cen­tric care.

How­ever, this form of sim­u­la­tion has cer­tain lim­i­ta­tions and does not al­low for hand­son train­ing for some life-sav­ing tech­niques.

this is one of the rea­sons that sim­u­lated pa­tients, in the form of man­nequins, are be­com­ing more and more pop­u­lar.

Sim­u­lated pa­tients like Sven are a cen­tral part of the learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at New­cas­tle Univer­sity, Bri­tain as well.

In fact, stu­dents at the state-of-the-art branch-cam­pus in Nusajaya use the sim­u­lated pa­tients for ex­actly the same sce­nar­ios as those in the UK.

this is one of the many syn­er­gies be­tween the two cam­puses.

they also share iden­ti­cal stan­dards, teach­ing meth­ods and cur­ricu­lum. Se­lected staff mem­bers even ro­tate be­tween the two and this truly en­sures that NUMed and New­cas­tle Univer­sity, UK, ben­e­fit from the best that each cam­pus has to of­fer.

Sven is a sin­gle man for now, but he has proved so valu­able, there is ev­ery chance he will be get­ting a fam­ily in the fu­ture. the ad­di­tion of a wife and child will fur­ther en­hance NUMed’s holis­tic med­i­cal train­ing for tomorrow’s doc­tors.

New­cas­tle Univer­sity UK, has es­tab­lished an in­ter­na­tional branch cam­pus in Jo­hor, Malaysia to pro­vide its un­der­grad­u­ate de­grees in Medicine (MB BS) and the Bio­med­i­cal Sciences (BSc) as well as op­por­tu­ni­ties for post­grad­u­ate study. the pro­grammes are equiv­a­lent to those of New­cas­tle’s UK-based pro­vi­sion and lead to the award of the same de­grees.

Ap­pli­ca­tions are now be­ing ac­cepted for the Septem­ber 2014 in­takes. to ap­ply, visit www.new­cas­tle.edu.my

Sven, the sim­u­lated pa­tient, gets in­volved in a va­ri­ety of train­ing sce­nar­ios to pre­pare the med­i­cal stu­dents from stan­dard clin­i­cal pro­ce­dures to acute care sit­u­a­tions.

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