Avondale opens new sim centre for wholistic practice

Students taking a tour of the new centre on the opening day.

Keep family and friends informed by sharing this article.

The campaign to set up a sim lab for the Avondale first-year nursing students is complete with the opening of a contemporary teaching space on campus.

The Nursing Simulation Centre will give students on the Lake Macquarie campus even greater hands-on authentic learning experiences before their clinical placements. Equipped with the latest technology and designed to reflect a hospital setting, the centre “can simulate a range of healthcare scenarios, which allows our students to refine their skills in a safe and supportive environment”, said lecturer Hannah Kent during the opening and dedication on March 29. “Building competence builds confidence.”

Offering a teaching experience comparable to that in the nursing simulation laboratory on the Sydney campus, the centre features new mannequins, beds and equipment and includes capacity for recording of clinical skills via ceiling-mounted cameras and microphones.

Students are expected to simulate real-life nursing actions when taught using the mannequins. Through this, they gain skills in therapeutic communication and learn about privacy, dignity and patient rights, said Tamera Gosling, head of the School of Nursing and Health. “We’re teaching our students to be wholistic carers. And that’s what makes our course different.”

Executive dean Professor Paul Race spoke of the nursing program’s number one rankings, including for student satisfaction. “This space will go a long way towards maintaining our top rankings and keeping students satisfied.” 

Donations and giving to the biennial Avondale offering—about $A315,000 in total—funded more than 90 per cent of the cost of the centre. “We are sincerely grateful for your support,” said Ms Kent, the face of an end-of-financial-year campaign in 2022. “Your generosity will make a significant impact on the education of our students.”

Ms Gosling and Mr Race also thanked the university’s executive, the school staff and the professional staff in advancement, campus maintenance and information technology for their support. And the tradespeople for their work.

Former vice-chancellor Professor Kevin Petrie cut the ribbon to open the centre. He spoke about the transformation of the space—a former graphic design studio—and of how it will now transform the students who will use it.

The opening and dedication of the Nursing Simulation Centre marks the relocation of the School of Nursing and Health on the Lake Macquarie campus, from the Science Building to the lower level of the Chan Shun Auditorium.

Related Stories