The value of simulation based education in Allied Health – the way of the future

Miss Sophie Blakely1, Ms Natasha Eaton1

1Redcliffe Hospital, Redcliffe, Australia

Are you tired of just sitting in front of a screen for your professional development? Are you looking for engaging and practical ways to build the clinical skills of you and your team?

‘Simulation based education’ is an innovative education tool within allied health that aims to build skill and confidence, whilst promoting active reflection that improves the way we practice. In the Occupational Therapy department at Redcliffe Hospital, we have implemented a simulation program in collaboration with the Skills Development Service to provide interactive experiential learning and reflection opportunities through the re-creation of clinical scenarios in areas including rehabilitation, orthopaedics, hand therapy, cancer care, paediatrics and even telehealth. During two main phases of implementation, we have identified several benefits, including increased confidence, new skill development, and more meaningful clinical supervision.

This presentation aims to demonstrate how simulation based education recognises the value of existing clinical skills and experience, and harnesses the benefits of experiential learning to turn workplace professional development from “frustrating” to “motivating”!


Biography of Sophie Blakely:

In the 2.5 years since completing her degree in Occupational Therapy (Honours), Sophie has worked primarily in acute/subacute adult physical health, with a particular interest in neurological rehabilitation. As a new clinician on the frontline of healthcare, she has come to understand the necessity of ongoing learning for providing high quality care to those she has the opportunity to work with in the hospital setting. She has also encountered the difficulty of finding clinical education opportunities that provide real and immediately applicable learning experiences.Sophie is passionate about improving the quality of healthcare through clinical education that is engaging, relevant and motivating. Her current goal is to further develop the clinical education tools and approaches used in Allied Health for both junior/senior staff, as well as students.

Biography of Natasha Eaton:

Natasha is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years experience in a variety of health care settings, but predominantly in cardiovascular health.  Lifelong learning and teaching have always been core components of her practice.

Natasha developed and enhanced her teaching style by undertaking various roles including Preceptor, Clinical Nurse Teacher, Nurse Educator and Clinical Nurse Consultant.  As a kinesthetic learner she was naturally drawn to simulation based education.  The past 5 years experience in Simulation Based Education has allowed Natasha to explore many aspects of Simulation, moving beyond the typical high-stakes clinical deterioration scenarios, into team communication, facilitation of reflective practice discussions and gamification to enhance clinical care and team awareness.  Moving forward, she hopes to develop more Interprofessional Education programs and apply simulation methodology to organisational challenges like redevelopment, process design and recruitment.  Outside work, Natasha finds joy in running and cycling, going to live music gigs and indulging in wine and cheese.

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