Delivering on national priorities for rural and regional health

1 JANUARY 2003

CSU has welcomed the announcement by the Federal government of $1.6 million in funding to establish a major Regional Inter-Professional Clinical Simulation Centre at CSU at Bathurst.

Charles Sturt University (CSU) has welcomed the announcement yesterday, Thursday 15 October, by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and Social Inclusion, the Hon. Ms Julia Gillard, MP, of $1.6 million in funding to establish a major Regional Inter-Professional Clinical Simulation Centre at the University’s Bathurst Campus.
The Regional Inter-Professional Clinical Simulation Centre will be a state-of-the-art clinical education centre consisting of an Emergency Department Resuscitation Simulation Unit, a Multi-Purpose Scenario Unit, a Control Room, lecture theatre and break out rooms. It will allow nursing and paramedic students to practise emergency health management skills in a realistic environment prior to undertaking ‘real-life’ practice in the community, hospitals and health facilities.
The Dean of the Faculty of Science at CSU, Professor Nick Klomp, said, “This is great news for regional Australia, and particularly for students, the health professions and the University’s industry partners in regional NSW.
“The location of the Centre in the central west was one of the commitments made in Charles Sturt University’s Central Western Health Education Plan. 
“The majority of the health professionals, such as nurses and paramedics, are expected to be ready for professional clinical practice upon graduation, and nursing and paramedic clinical practice education is critical for accreditation to ensure students have real life experience in clinical decision-making. However, with increasing demands on our health system for clinical placements, the use of clinical simulation has grown in order to relieve some of the pressure on our regional hospitals and staff.
“The use of highly realistic simulators allows students to obtain high levels of competency in health assessment, critical thinking and decision making in a safe environment before they practise on real patients in high-pressure situations. Simulated procedures can be performed repeatedly under specialist supervision to increase the competency and confidence of student practitioners without compromising patient safety.”
Professor Klomp noted that clinical simulation facilities in Australia tend to be clustered in metropolitan centres and are specific to particular health professions. This is despite the significant number of health practitioners working, and undergraduate and postgraduate health students training, in rural and regional communities.
“This successful grant recognises Charles Sturt University’s success in delivering on national priorities for rural and regional health”.  
Charles Sturt University is one of Australia’s largest providers of both nursing and paramedic education, enrolling more than 1 800 students in these programs annually. It is the only New South Wales provider of paramedical science programs and currently delivers emergency health management education in Canada and to students in other countries around the world. 
The University thanks the NSW Ambulance Service, the Victorian Ambulance Service, and Western Institute of TAFE for their support for this initiative. The funding is made under the Capital Development Pool Program administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

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