A life-sized medical manikin that can repeatedly give birth will be used to teach the next generation of medical students at a new University training centre based at the John Hunter Hospital.
The $2 million Chameleon Clinical Skills Training Centre, to be officially opened today by Federal Minister for Industry and Innovation, Mr Greg Combet, will be used by University of Newcastle and University of New England students enrolled in the Bachelor of Medicine Joint Medical Program (JMP).Chameleon Centre Manager Jan Roche said the Centre, equipped with three simulation laboratories, replicated the full spectrum of medical scenarios from medical emergencies to obstetric cases.
“We use a range of life-sized medical simulation manikins including a baby, small child and male and female adults that can be programmed to replicate various medical situations,” Mrs Roche said.
“In addition to scenarios like childbirth and respiratory failure, we can also simulate an emergency room environment where students have to treat ‘continually deteriorating patients’. This gives students a very real insight into trauma treatment.”
Professor Ian Symonds, Dean of Medicine – JMP at the University of Newcastle, said the laboratories gave students the opportunity to rehearse vital skills in a safe clinical environment.
“Students are often nervous when learning and practicing medical techniques in a hospital. The laboratories allow students to learn medical skills, gain experience and boost their confidence in an atmosphere where mistakes can be made without embarrassment or adverse consequences,” he said.
“Through training laboratories such as these, our students will be better able to diagnose, troubleshoot and adapt to rapidly changing medical situations.”
The Centre’s innovative audio visual technologies will allow the simulations to be broadcasted live to JMP students based at JMP partner sites in Armidale, Taree, Tamworth and Gosford and recorded for future training and assessment purposes.
Chameleon Clinical Skills Training Centre is a unique collaboration between Hunter New England Health Local Health District and the University and was primarily funded by the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA).
The JMP is an expansion of the University of Newcastle Bachelor of Medicine Program in partnership with the University of New England, Hunter New England Health and Central Coast Health.
Photo/vision opportunity: Mr Greg Combet, Member for Charlton, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Minister for Industry and Innovation, will officially open the Chameleon Clinical Skills Training Centre today at 11.30am on Friday 8 June, Chameleon – John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton. Media are to meet a representative at the front reception desk located at the main entrance to John Hunter Hospital.
For interviews contact: Megan Cunneen, Media and Public Relations at the University of Newcastle, 02 4985 4049 or 0421 166 944.