04 May 2021

If there's one thing the pandemic has shown it's that preparing for the worst is incredibly important. And, for aspiring healthcare practitioners at the University of East London (UEL), it doesn't come much better than learning with 'SimMan' - a new, state-of-the-art patient simulator. 

The life-like mannequin is an advanced simulator, able to display neurological as well as physiological symptoms. It'll give students, nurses and trauma specialists, among others, the chance to deal with high-pressure situations in a safe environment.  

Over the course of the previous 12 months a number of current and recent graduates have gone straight in at the deep end as the NHS has required manpower like never before. Many wouldn't have had the benefit of dealing with major scenarios before, which the SimMan addresses. 

The teaching landscape is changing all the time as technology develops and new ideas and innovation come through, and the SimMan mannequins are precisely that,"

Jane Perry, dean of the School of Health, Sport and Bioscience at UEL, said.


She continued, "As new roles come into healthcare, there's a need for different disciplines to be aligned and those coming into the industry to be trained holistically. SimMan allows us to replicate a range of scenarios so students can see things first-hand.  

"From a teaching perspective, it'll help us to demystify some of the jargon and myths around trauma injuries, and severe illnesses. It can be a shock for a newly-qualified, young graduate to go into a situation where they are dealing with a heart attack for the first time if they haven't seen it before, but now they can."

With the University playing a major role in the local community in the fight against COVID, the investment in the new kit is a clear indictor as to the transformation in pedagogy at UEL, and a continued commitment to work with local stakeholders. 

"Our focus is to make sure every student who leaves us is equipped to go out and hit the ground running at the start of their career, and we are so excited to take this next step in our offering," said Rob Waterson, director of careers and enterprise in the school of HSB. 

"We are the first institute in Europe to purchase the SimMan, but our doors are always open. The offer will be there to local partners, from the armed forces, to the NHS and to charities, to come and benefit from it."

"While mannequin training isn't new, the technology within SimMan has moved things on from a user-experience level, and we're now eagerly awaiting their arrival."

Installed with LLEAP software (a single, intuitive interface), trainers enjoy complete control by operating SimMan on the fly, or by using pre-programmed scenarios. Physical and physiological parameters can be set and actions logged, with the ability to run video debriefs also available. 

The technology also allows for further scope in point of care ultrasound, advanced ventilation management and patient monitoring. 

"We've a growing record of giving our students outstanding opportunities while they are with us and yes, the pandemic accelerated that," continued Jane Perry. 

"We are already seeing many of our students playing an active role in the vaccination programme given the training they've received here, and I'm looking forward to seeing the development of the next generation of medical professionals."

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