The university's clinical skill laboratories in Lancaster have been formally opened by Laura Roberts, managing director, Health Education England (North) at an event hosted by Pro Vice Chancellor Sandra Booth.
These upgraded, fit-for-purpose learning environments offer flexible learning spaces appropriate to a range of health-related professions and occupations, along with high quality technology-based simulation equipment to reproduce different care settings and clinical scenarios.
Nursing students in particular can benefit from their own facility, which is a brand new development and contains specialised, technically advanced mannequins, including 'Hal' who breathes, has a heartbeat, a pulse, and other vital signs. A variety of medical symptoms that students will come across when working with their patients can be simulated with Hal. Students can also prepare for activities such as hoist operation and other nursing techniques in a safe environment, to hone their skills before having to apply them to real patients.
Elsewhere, vital expertise can be developed around home mobility for those with disabilities or the elderly, including the technological aspects of adapted home environments. Paramedic students can work within a simulated ambulance setting, recreating the conditions under which they will be practising their advanced medical skills once qualified, while radiography students can learn how to operate sophisticated ultrasound equipment prior to their placements.
These improved facilities offer the university's health-related students excellent opportunities to develop their understanding of the practical elements involved in caring for clients and patients, allowing them to gain confidence in themselves and their skills in life-like but safe settings with support from knowledgeable and dedicated staff.
Image: Laura Roberts, MD, Health Education (North) (left) and PVC Sandra Booth