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Students learn life saving skills from model patient

10 July 2008

Rupa Vora, Dr Barbara Bahlmann and Dr Anette Scholz

The 'patient' has undergone hundreds of operations, has an unpredicatable medical condition but has every confidence in their doctor - a Cardiff University medical student who has never seen a patient like this before!

The new Cardiff University Simulation Centre, opened by the Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Health and Social Services, Mrs Edwina Hart and sponsored by Welsh company Flexicare, includes an interactive human patient simulator.

The simulator allows School of Medicine students to learn, rehearse and perfect procedures in treating sick patients, anaesthesia and intensive care. The training adds to medical students involvement with patients from day one, where they learn the importance of communication to the patient and the role of medicine in society.

Professor Judith Hall, School of Medicine, said: "This is an important development for undergraduate and postgraduate education at Cardiff.

"The simulator provides an excellent reflection of a really sick patient and means that there is no risk to patients. Medical students can practise their management of both routine and rare life-threatening events."

Teaching is video recorded allowing students to review and develop their skills. At the launch the Minister met with fourth year University medical students who demonstrated how they use the simulator to learn how to manage a patient with a major haemorrhage.

Mrs Hart said: "In addition to the huge advances that have been made in treatments and facilities, developments such as this one at Cardiff University show how the teaching of healthcare staff has changed over time. Mrs Edwina Hart opening the Cardiff University Simulation Centre

"The increasing complexity of healthcare along with appreciation of patient's rights means that it is no longer acceptable to 'practise' on patients and simulators will play a vital role in the teaching of all healthcare staff in the future.

"This is also an example of how healthcare and industry can work together to provide such facilities. The example that Flexicare shows in its sponsorship of this simulator is welcomed and is part of what we should be striving for - a closer engagement between the NHS and industry."

Flexicare, sponsors of the new theatre, is a Welsh manufacturer and supplier of medical devices to the healthcare industry and medical organisations.

Hash Poormand, Business Development Director Flexicare, said: "Flexicare is proud to support Cardiff University and the ongoing education and development of new techniques. As a Welsh based manufacturer and supplier of medical devices we are committed to working with Cardiff University in creating one of the most advanced simulation facilities in the UK."