Flinders bolsters future health workforce

Inside the new ViTA building. Photo by Michael Mullan Photography.
Inside the new ViTA building. Photo by Michael Mullan Photography.

Australians are living longer than ever before; creating a strong demand for a future health workforce with the skills to support the country’s ageing population.

Flinders University is responding to the need for more aged care professionals by producing a new cohort of highly-skilled health graduates who are equipped to meet the demands of the rapidly evolving, and growing, aged care sector.

Through inter-professional education models and teaching excellence, Flinders University is developing the health workforce of the future at ViTA – a new state-of-the-art aged care, rehabilitation, teaching and research facility which officially opens at the Repatriation General Hospital in Daw Park today (Wednesday, August 20).

A partnership between the ACH Group, SA Health and Flinders University, the $46 million ViTA facility will provide medical, nursing and allied health students with real-world educational experiences through interaction and clinical placements with patients and residents.

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, said ViTA will provide exciting opportunities for Flinders to revolutionise traditional health education models.

“The University will offer a number of multidisciplinary teaching modules from the Flinders University Clinical Teaching and Education Centre (CTEC) at ViTA,” Professor Barber said.

“The Centre will have the capacity to accommodate up to 600 students a year and will facilitate team training for medical, nursing and allied health students in the care of older people,” he said.

“Through Flinders’ investment in ViTA, there will be opportunities for authentic inter-professional training embedded in high-performing teams.”

Professor Michael Kidd, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, said the innovative, cutting-edge technologies offered at ViTA are central to the advancement of health care education.

“CTEC will use simulation labs, robotic-based therapies, audio-visual networking capabilities and online module delivery to enrich the student experience,” Professor Kidd said.

“Teaching will be linked to a range of regional sites, including Darwin, Renmark and Mount Gambier, with the potential for links to overseas locations in the future,” he said.

The development of Flinders’ teaching and training facilities at ViTA has been made possible with the support of the Commonwealth Government of Australia.

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