The campaign to set up a simulation lab for the Avondale University first-year nursing students is complete with the opening of a contemporary teaching space on campus on March 29, school leaders recently announced.
The Nursing Simulation Center will give students on the Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia 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 center “can simulate a range of healthcare scenarios, which allows our students to refine their skills in a safe and supportive environment,” lecturer Hannah Kent said during the opening and dedication. “Building competence builds confidence.”
Offering a teaching experience comparable to that in the nursing simulation laboratory on the Sydney campus, the center 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 Paul Race spoke of the nursing program’s number one rankings, including for student satisfaction. “This space will go a long way toward maintaining our top rankings and keeping students satisfied,” he said.
Donations and giving to the biennial Avondale offering — about A$315,000, or US$209,000 in total — funded more than 90 percent of the cost of the center. “We are sincerely grateful for your support,” said Kent of the end-of-financial-year campaign in 2022. “Your generosity will make a significant impact on the education of our students.”
Gosling and Race also thanked the university’s executive staff, 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 Kevin Petrie cut the ribbon to open the center. He spoke about the transformation of the space — a former graphic design studio — and how it will now transform the students who will use it.
The opening and dedication of the Nursing Simulation Center 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.