My Experience of SimGHOSTS Australia 2015

 Nick May, La Trobe Rural Health School Albury-Wodonga

I was asked to attend SIMGOST 2015 by my workplace as a training opportunity. As a science technician who had only started in simulation a few weeks ago, I thought it was a great opportunity to be thrown in headfirst and to learn as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.

The Queensland Clinical Skills Development Service (CSDS) were the host for the event, and have a wonderful facility. My background is from a regional university with a small teaching space and 10 mannequins. CSDS covers two floors of a building, has over 3000 simulation apparatus, performs all in-house maintenance, and much more. It is one of the world’s largest providers of healthcare simulation.

Day 1:    Comprehensive Moulage Workshop

Nola from Trauma Sim conducted this full day workshop and she was great. Moulage was not something I had encountered before except for what had been shared with me from a colleague and I searched for on the internet. We learnt many tips and tricks and spent hours using many different products to create many different wounds and injuries. My take home message from the moulage workshop was about high fidelity or reality. I realised that with the highest fidelity comes more engagement in training and better learning outcomes.

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Day 2:    Keynote address  - “Communicating and Negotiating to Advance Your Simulation Program”

Dr. Carolyn Yucha,  Dean of the Schools of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Interesting to hear about a large scale shared simulation facility and very engaging and thought provoking.

Plenary -Rules for Simulation Radicals –

Dylan Campher, Director of Simulation Clinical Skills Development Service

Interesting to hear about how CSDS was developed into the model it is today: once again, engaging and thought provoking.

Advanced Video Editing Techniques

This was well out of my comfort zone, I have had very little experience editing video before now. We used a video editing program that the presenter was very familiar with, and he moved through the program with ease and pace. I can see how learning to use video editing could be used to create great blended learning subjects and learnt an incredible amount about how much work goes into planning shooting and editing a video to make it of sufficient standard for teaching.

In-situ Simulation- Anytime Anywhere

This workshop was about being able to set up basic AV for simulation anywhere quickly, however what it taught me was that people can spend a great deal of time and money trying to develop such a system. I can see the future this workshop was aiming for, a 1 button portable system, but unfortunately they are not quite there yet. CSDS have developed a very simple and easy to use portable AV system, unfortunately it is quite big and not so portable. If it were miniaturised in the future it will a great product.

Common Troubleshooting Techniques for SimMan 3G – Basic

This is my strength, I am an experienced science lab technician and very much enjoyed this workshop. It was great to see the mannequins pulled apart and where all the componentry is hidden within the body. I would have had no issue dismantling a mannequin but this workshop allowed me to see internal components without having to troubleshoot the assembly myself. I learnt a few tips and tricks from other experienced technicians who have far more experience with SimMan 3G than myself.

Day 3:    Plenary -The Benefits of Advanced Physiology Modelling to Simulation

Dr. Kenneth Gilpin Senior Lecturer, School of Rural Medicine, University of New England

Far too clinical for me and I understood only parts of this plenary speech. I am sure those clinically trained technicians got more from it.

Plenary -How to Train Your Simulation Staff (or yourself) for Free 

Kirrian Steer, Simulation Coordinator, La Trobe University

This plenary was great but I do have to be honest and let you know that Kirrian is my boss. That aside I believe it was the most engaging plenary of the conference. I was already a fan of MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) having done them in the past and really enjoyed and benefited from them. I believe they are a fantastic way to increase skills and knowledge for simulation and they’re free. It was great to walk out of the auditorium afterwards and here everyone inspired about their new found learning tool.

Programming Laerdal Manikins: 3 Methods

I found this workshop fascinating, and discovered that it is relatively easy to program Laerdal mannequins. However due to my lack of knowledge in any clinical aspect of simulation I don’t believe the scope for me using this knowledge in the future is great. For clinically trained technicians this workshop would have been great.

How to Train Your Dragon! Part 1 and 2

This workshop was run by the technicians from CSDS and was a great extension to the full day moulage workshop on day 1. We ventured away from the quick in-situ moulage of the workshop and learnt to use two part silicone in plastic moulds. It was a technique discussed earlier in the week but was great to get hands on. This technique could be valuable for our teaching into the future because of the longer lasting and reusable nature of the silicone products made.

Day 4:    CSDS Trauma Workshop

This workshop was a chance for CSDS to show off both their staff and facility, and it was great. We were thrown in the deep end and tasked with developing a scenario for a competing team. Once both scenarios were finished being written we were asked to act each other’s out. This is where the different strengths and weaknesses of the teams were played out in front of one another, the teams were selected to have balanced clinical and technical people where possible. We had use of one of the CSDS simulation trauma emergency department rooms and given free rein with their moulage kits and a SimMan 3G. To be immersed into all aspect of a scenario was great and gave me great appreciation to what goes into developing a scenario from scratch.

In summary, if anyone has the opportunity to attend a SimGHOSTS conference in the future I would highly recommend attending. It was particularly helpful to me as a technician and tailored towards the technical side as opposed to clinical in my opinion.


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