Rural health education hits the road

Health professionals and students in regional South Australia will have clinical training delivered to their door with the launch today of Flinders University Rural Clinical School‘s (FURCS) SimVan.

A specially fitted vehicle, SimVan will deliver clinical simulation experiences ranging from cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and attending to a difficult birth, to major accident and emergency response in a rural setting.

It was designed by the Riverland Clinical Simulation Centre, a unit of FURCS funded by the Department of Health and Ageing and Country Health SA, and launched by Flinders University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber in Renmark.

Clinical Simulation Manager and SimVan designer, Ms Leanne Rogers said the initiative would help rural and remote health workforce members gain easy access to clinical skills training.

“Simulated clinical experiences allow health professionals and students to develop, practise and demonstrate competence of skills in a safe, controlled, observable environment,” Ms Rogers said.

“It is a major component in managing quality assurance and risk factors in the health sector.”

Associate Professor Jennene Greenhill, FURCS Acting Director said a major benefit to rural health professionals is the elimination of the sometimes extensive travel requirements needed to attend equivalent training in the city.

“This is all about the value of retaining clinicians in rural communities,” Associate Professor Greenhill said.

Head of Clinical Simulation at Flinders University and a world-recognised leader in the field, Professor Harry Owen said SimVan would change the face of rural health education.

“Mobilised clinical simulation is a giant step toward developing and maintaining clinical confidence and competencies for health practitioners in the rural workforce, a requirement that has been recently recognised by both federal and state governments,” Professor Owen said.

The Riverland Clinical Simulation Centre provides a wide range of clinical skills training including Basic and Advanced Life Support, Emergency Response and Midwifery Simulation.

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