immersion suite

Date published: November 07, 2016

New high tech simulation facility can transport students anywhere

Students can be transported to any environment without having to leave the campus thanks to a high tech facility at the university.

The new immersive simulation room – one of only a handful of its kind in a UK university – will enable students training for occupations such as nursing, midwifery or counselling to practice dealing with any kind of incident in a virtual setting.

A series of cameras project realistic images onto three walls of the room in the university’s Mary Seacole Building as well as onto the floor, while sounds can be piped into the room by specialist technicians working from a separate control room.

The room can be turned into anything from the back of an ambulance transporting patients between hospitals to a nightclub in which a patient has collapsed.

Special ‘touch spots’ on the wall and floor can enable patients to interact with the environment – such as by leaving footprints on the floor in a simulated outdoor scene or being able to operate equipment in a simulated hospital ward.

As well as providing state of the art training for students entering healthcare professions, the room can be used to simulate a huge range of other environments, such as replicating a prison cell for criminology students or the home of a distressed family for those training to become social workers.

The facility will complement the simulation suite that opened this summer, which features a series of rooms designed to look exactly like hospital wards and contain realistic human patient simulators – high tech electronic manikins operated remotely by technicians.

These manikins can move, ‘speak’ via a microphone, blink and even sweat, and come complete with pulses and moveable chest plates to enable students  to respond to scenarios from dressing a wound to carrying out cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on someone experiencing cardiac arrest.

Another area is designed to look like a maternity unit and features patient simulators representing birthing women and newborn babies.

Margaret Rowe, Dean of the University of Salford’s School of Nursing Midwifery Social Work and Social Science, said: “Simulation plays an essential role in how we educate our students to prepare them for real life practice in various health and social care settings across the region.

“However, this new facility takes simulation to a whole new level, enabling us to replicate any scenario in a safe and supportive environment. The University of Salford is the largest education provider of nurses and midwives in the North West and the use of simulation provides limitless potential for students from across the University to develop their clinical skills to meet the high quality requirements of the NHS.

“We are at the cutting edge by taking advantage of this technology now and we are one of very few Universities who can offer this experience to our students.”

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