GP Plus turns into a hospital for students

SIMULATION EXPERIENCE: Katie Willson and Peter Stapleton, fifth year medical students.
SIMULATION EXPERIENCE: Katie Willson and Peter Stapleton, fifth year medical students.

Students from the University of Adelaide and Flinders University who are completing their fifth year of study in a regional area, met in Port Pirie this week, for a week of intensive simulation training.

Almost 40 students who are currently based in Ceduna, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Pirie, Kadina, Wallaroo and the Barossa came together to experience a controlled hospital scenario which started in triage and followed the patient through pre and post surgery situations, through to a retrieval using MedStar.

Dr Adam Montagu the director of Adelaide Health Simulation at the University of Adelaide explained that this simulation intensive is to ensure that their regionally placed students are receiving the same teaching experience as those in the city.

"Our fifth year medical students spend the entire year in a regional area and we want to make sure that they get the equivalent simulation experience that they have in the city area, so we come here and deliver the experiences," Dr Montague said.

Staff from the University turned Pirie's GP Plus into a hospital and over the course of the day followed two patients in their operative journey.

The director of the Adelaide Rural Clinical School, Lucie Walters says that the learning environments they have created for the students will help them to be agile in their thinking, when they find themselves in similar situations as practicing doctors.

"Simulation is really important because it gives our students an opportunity to practice skills under pressure, where they are having to think about life or death situations but obviously they are in a safe learning environment where we can moderate the outcome of the patients through the wonderful equipment that we have access to.

"Sometimes patients get better and sometimes they don't. We can help our students to be prepared to be agile in their thinking and clinical skills but also learn how it feels in your heart when things don't go as well as you like and to be able to manage those things before we let them work with real people," Lucie explained.

A student undertaking a year of placement in Kadina is Peter Stapleton, he says that his experience working regionally so far has been amazing and the lessons from the simulation will be incredibly beneficial.

"It has been really good, we have done a simulation session working as an emergency department. We started at the very beginning at triage and then all the way through to transport with MedStar and got to do some conference calls."

"I would definitely consider working regionally. There are some internships out there that I have got to see and have spoken to a few young doctors who have told me about their experiences who have pumped it up a lot, and it sounds like you get more experience. So it is something I will definitely consider," Peter said.