Preparing for the pandemic: The role of simulation in acute retraining

Mrs Felicity Prebble1, Mrs Jennifer Murphy

1Mater Hospital, Brisbane, Australia

The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated  the Mater Physiotherapy Department’s rapid adaptation to the threat of unprecedented patient numbers and acuity in health care delivery. In a staged response, training needs were identified and staff were allocated to both low-fidelity and high-fidelity training simulations to upskill from differing clinical specialities to assist with acute- based care of  the anticipated infux of patients..

During a short period we completed:

  • 113 physiotherapy simulation training programs
  • 28 intensive care clinical competencies

The following documents were developed

  • 3 Mater Education Physiotherapy Practical assessments
  • Physiotherapy Covid-19 Guideline published within the Mater’s Covid-19 Management Guideline


Moving forward this innovative program will reform and achieve our staff training needs, to be utilised for future clinical training outside of Covid – 19.


Felicity Prebble works as a physiotherapist in intensive care at the Mater Hospital Brisbane. She is also an educator coordinator at Mater Education, after completing a simulation fellowship in 2019.

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