University of Johannesburg: Healthcare Simulation Week provides opportunity to raise awareness and improve safety in the industry

​The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Faculty of Health Sciences celebrated Healthcare Simulation Week with an interactive discussion about the university’s Simulation Lab, current research trends and how to enrol for a formal qualification in PGDip Clinical Simulation.

Healthcare Simulation Week takes place globally in September. This year it was celebrated from September 13 – 19. On Friday, September 17, the faculty hosted a Zoom presentation to highlight the work they were doing. Ms Sanele Lukhele, Midwifery Lecturer, Department of Nursing, gave a presentation on the many uses of the Simulation Lab facilities and showed how the life-like manikins responded during emergency care.

“The technology we have available to us at UJ’s High-fidelity lab includes the immersive room where we are able to project pictures on the walls and turn the setup into a ward, consultation room or anything we would like it to be. We can bring students into the space and they see what an actual ward would look like if they were in it.”

Ms Lukhele said the lab allowed them to work better with midwifery students through the pandemic. The manikin simulators, programmed for various conditions ranging from a mother in labour to a 60-year-old patient with signs of heart failure, that exhibit symptoms similar to live patients, enable students to gain crucial experience while learning to apply their skills in realistic clinical situations.

The birthing manikin Sim Momo 3G can simulate a foetal heart rate, be connected to a foetal heart rate monitor and can simulate an automated birth. The medical training simulation lab at the University’s Doornfontein Campus is part of a collaboration between Phillips and the University.

High-fidelity simulation (HFS) is an approach to experiential learning using life-size manikins with actual physiological and pharmacological responses, and sophisticated interactive capability in realistic scenarios.

Professor Christopher Stein from the Department of Emergency Medical Care presented some research linking students to simulation learning.

His research looked at stress and anxiety in simulation assessments in emergency medical care and found that students’ anxiety levels were at their highest during these assessments.

He said this had an impact on their performance on their ability to think and reason on the simulation assessments.

Dr Karien Henrico, Senior Lecturer: Department of Emergency Medical Care said the department had been working on a Postgraduate Degree specifically for educators who would like to use simulation in their teaching.

“The purpose of this curriculum is to help educators foster their own simulation within their teaching. It’s aimed to help people build on what they already know, underpin and strengthen that in specific teaching philosophy so you understand why you are doing what you are doing in a particular resource.”

The online programme consists of seven modules and can be taken either full time for a year or part-time for two years.

Healthcare Simulation Week raises awareness about the profession and celebrates those who work in it. The week of activities raises awareness about the importance of healthcare simulation in improving the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of delivery and outcomes. It also aims to foster collaboration across the global healthcare simulation community.