State of the art rural training

Nurses working in remote areas of New South Wales are on the road to cutting edge clinical training thanks to a new $1.3m mobile health unit.

The mobile training unit will allow rural nurses and allied health workers to practice their skills in realistic emergency situations, using state of the art equipment, lifelike human parts and dummies worth more than $300,000.

Broken Hill nurse educator Tim O’Neill believes the “sim truck” will be of great benefit to rural nurses.

“They’ll have access to the same facilities as people in the city and that’s the big benefit of it,” the RN from the Centre for Rural and Remote Education said.

The mobile health unit can be split into different areas to simulate a ward, emergency department, debriefing area and control room.

“It’s scenario based learning, so people will be able to improve their skills when dealing with emergencies,” Tim told The Lamp.

“The features of it are absolutely wonderful. It’s close to life learning.”

NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda, attended the unveiling of the Sister Alison Bush AO Mobile Simulation Centre in Sydney last month, where it was officially launched by Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner.

Alison Bush was an influential midwife from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital who became an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1999 and was awarded the Centenary of Federation medal in 2002. Sister Bush received many awards and accolades for her work and was inducted into the Aboriginal Hall of Fame at the 2009 NSW Health Awards, for her many efforts to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.

“The Sister Bush AO Mobile Simulation Centre is a fitting tribute to Sister Bush, a passionate educator who dedicated her life to improving the lives of others,” MP Skinner said.

The mobile training unit is housed in a 19-metre semi-trailer, decorated with donated artworks from celebrated Australian artists including Jack Absolom, Pro Hart and photographer John Dynon.

Based in Dubbo, the mobile simulation centre will hit the road every 20 weeks, travelling throughout the Far West and Western NSW local health districts (LHDs) to towns including Mudgee, Bathurst, Cowra, Canowindra, Parkes, Forbes, Condobolin, Balranald, Wentworth, Broken Hill, Cobar, Nyngan, Bourke, Walgett, Coonabarabran, Warren and Narromine.

Nurse educators from across the LHDs will lead the training sessions, which incorporate medical, allied health and nursing staff in a variety of inter-professional training scenarios.