Simulated practice within the clinical skills laboratories does not replace clinical experience but it does equip the students with skills that are transferable to clinical practice. Working on the simulated patients can build self-confidence by offering a safe and supportive environment to practice clinical skills without compromising patient safety.
Students are given feedback so that they can reflect on their performance and assess their strengths and weaknesses. Using current and innovative teaching practice we aim to promote high quality patient care and produce highly skilled clinicians for practice.
We aim to give our paramedic students training they can use in real-life situations but going out with an ambulance crew is not always possible.
Working in the back of an ambulance is very difficult, mainly because of the lack of space, so we’ve invested in an ambulance of our own to act as a training aid for our students.
Our ambulance once belonged to Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Ambulance Service and has been restored by Mark Garratt, Paramedic Clinical Skills Instructor, and the HLS clinical skills team.
The indoor location allows for training and observation in all weathers, whilst the classrooms exterior doors lead to a short delivery roadway that can be coned off for road accident scenario purposes. Other accessible areas include a nearby park and wide grass verge, all of which can be used to recreate situations in which ambulance personnel are required to make a decision as to whether patients should be treated in-situ or transferred onto the vehicle for on-going care.
Operating department/Surgical skills laboratory
Our Operating Departmental/Surgical Skills Laboratory is used for many different scenarios, including paramedic science, emergency operating department procedures and orthopaedic teaching. We have a full Vulcan beam traction bed that allows us to demonstrate a wide variety of traction scenarios. We also have a full plaster trolley enabling students to practice all sorts of Plaster of Paris applications.
There are also facilities within the laboratories for students to practice clinical measurements and other procedures on each other.
One of our latest additions is METIman, a life size, fully wireless simulator with on board fluid, pneumatic and electrical systems designed to provide our students with the most realistic simulated patient experience available.
Paediatric and Midwifery Lab
In the Paediatric and Midwifery Laboratory students can practice and learn how to bath and examine a baby. We have various child and baby mannequins with which we can simulate procedures. The laboratory contains an electronic profiling cot, which moves electronically to enable safe moving and handling of children in and out of the cot and a drugs trolley where students can practice administering drugs.
There is an information board that keeps the students up-to-date with any innovative clinical practices we are currently undertaking. The board gives information about OSCEs that are taken at the end of the 15 weeks within the clinical skills laboratories and keeps students informed with the latest developments in the Code of Professional Conduct.