Getting in with good practice
LIFE-like scenarios were set up to give medical and nursing students the opportunity to get their hands on real people and put their skills to the test before they take on hospital wards with actual patients.
The Silver-Q annual program, run by CQUniversity, gives medical and nursing students one-on-one time with "patients" who were played by local actors taking on roles of sick or injured people.
CQU lecturer Nicole Blunt said the two-day program was important for the students and helped with the transition into the health workforce.
"The emphasis is on team work, communication and appropriate assessment and management of the patient," Mrs Blunt said.
"The students have all been in placement situations (in hospitals) before but they are buddied and are highly supervised in that instance.
"So here we are giving them the opportunity to be put in the role they will be in when they go off to be doctors or nurses.
"Where they are the ones who make the decisions and go off to make the medicines - so it's good practice for what is to come."
Deputy Director of the UQ clinical school in Bundaberg Therese Ryan said the simulation setting was about communication and working in real time.
"They (students) have had the opportunity to be put outside their comfort zone and that can happen quite often in the health zone," Dr Ryan said.
"We can't underestimate the importance of communication.
"The feedback we have had from the students is that it is invaluable."
Mrs Blunt said there was an element of realism to the students learning experience, especially as they had use of the state-of-the-art medical equipment.
"They work while being monitored by medical supervisors who are there to give expert advise and a debrief at the end," she said.
"If they make mistakes we want them to do it here.
"Everything is up to date in these learning workshops - we use best practice which is all current.
"They aren't being tested but more assessed and given feedback."
She said having real-life actors made the situation very lifelike and added a little more pressure to the atmosphere.
"We are grateful for the actors and are always after anyone with acting background who thinks they have what it takes to participate," Mrs Blunt said.
Third year nursing student Catherine Wangmann said being involved in the simulated environment was beneficial and she was grateful to be involved.
"Having this practice is helpful - it's like we are in real life situations and are learning out to cope with that," she said.