Campus Life

UJ medical students get state-of-art simulation lab



Medical students at the UJ are going to have an easier time practising their chosen art, as the university has teamed up with Philips have created a state-of-the-art medical simulation facility at DFC.

In the new lab, scenarios from the panic of the emergency room to minor procedure care can be replicated and practise before students are sent out to deal with the real thing.

“Healthcare is huge problem in South Africa, and we don’t compare well with other countries. We need to look at the structure and operational issues, and often there is insufficient time spent on clinical training,” said Prof Andre Swart, Executive Dean at the Faculty of Health Services at UJ.

And this is where the simulation lab comes in. The facility has the ability to accurately simulate almost every step of the medical process, from being a first responder on the ground, transporting the patient and having them admitted to hospital, to doing complex tests, procedures and even pre- and postnatal care.

“We asked ourselves how we could change the training for South African nurses and emergency personnel, and we thought of changing the sustainability of the future. Simulation-based trained isn’t something new in South Africa, but the one that we have don’t provide a simulation that showed a real-world working environment.” said Prof Swart.

While UJ built the facility and took care of the administration, Philips has provided all the medical equipment that the student make use of during their training. “The investment of R20 million is to provide and train the most competent healthcare practitioners in the country.” Prof Swart continued. “It’s not to replace real-world training, but to enhance the training of skills that they receive. Even though we officially opened the facility today, we have already trained nurses and doctors from 10 Africa countries on diabetes medicine in the simulation lab.”