Murdoch Uni’s nursing simulation provides education in medicine


Senior clinical simulation technician Michelle Buchanan in Murdoch University’s nursing simulation suite.
Senior clinical simulation technician Michelle Buchanan in Murdoch University’s nursing simulation suite.

WALK into the clinical simulation suite at Murdoch University and you could be forgiven for thinking you had accidentally stumbled into a ward at nearby Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Life-like mannequins lie in beds surrounded by technology such as Alaris pump systems and electrocardiograms – exactly the same as those used all over the country.

The university’s two high-technology mannequins take the simulation even further. They are hooked up to heart monitors and breathe, blink, talk and even vomit.

Murdoch senior clinical simulation technician Michelle Buchanan said the suites were designed to recreate the clinical experience as accurately as possible for nursing students.

“Each week the students come in and are given a patient case to look after,” she said.

“It’s no longer about just learning one specific skill at a time, it’s about building clinical judgement skills that require our students to think about all aspects of their patient’s care.

“We want the students to be able to come in here, learn with real-life equipment and develop the skills to support them once they’re out on clinical practice.”

The high-technology mannequins are used for more intensive simulations, enabling small groups of students to respond to situations such as heart attacks and blocked airways.

“A lot of the aspects of a patient’s clinical condition can be simulated with the high-tech mannequins,” Mrs Buchanan said.

“They have a heart rate and you can feel their pulse. You can give them oxygen, take blood, put in a urinary catheter and give fluids.

“We have a staff member in the control room next door that talks for the mannequins and can do things like put them into cardiac arrest, requiring the students to do CPR.

“Once the students step in here it’s as if they are in an actual clinical environment.”

Murdoch University will hold an open day on Sunday, July 24, during which the simulation suite inside the old Murdoch College building will be open to the public.