MEDICAL students will come face to face with hi-tech model patients as well as plucky volunteers following the opening of a new educational centre.
Sheffield University’s Clinical Skills Centre, based in Samuel Fox House at the Northern General Hospital in Fir Vale, has undergone a £1.5 million transformation and will be used to train the next generation of medics.
The centre houses simulation hospital wards where trainee doctors and nurses can learn their trade, as well as a mock-up resuscitation room and operating theatre.
Hundreds of voluntary ‘patients as educators’ will also be assisting students as they learn how to treat real people.
A group of helpers took a tour of the centre, along with Sir Keith Pearson, chair of Health Education England.
The scheme – which has more than 800 volunteers from around South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire – is the biggest programme of its kind in the world.
Each volunteer teaches students about their particular medical condition and gives tips and advice on how to develop a professional bedside manner.
In their first year at medical school pairs of students visit volunteers in their own homes and learn skills such as how to take a case history and find out, in detail, what it’s like to live with common conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
Students then progress to seeing patients in the simulated ward set-up, where they can practise their practical skills, taking blood or checking blood pressure.
The skills centre also boasts technology such as futuristic webcams, a special film studio, and hi-tech recording equipment.