Vital skills for emergency situations

TAFE Queensland nursing students from the Gold Coast were put to the test with hands-on exercises to learn vital skills in managing deteriorating patients in emergency situations.

17 Mar 2017

Running hands-on scenarios during their course is vital for students to learn and practice the skills required for placement and eventually, working in industry as an enrolled nurse.

According to TAFE Queensland nursing teach Ms Yellowley, simulated learning environments are a vitally important part of any nursing course.

“Simulations consolidate the students’ learning and allow them to anticipate, react and respond professionally in clinical settings,” said TAFE Queensland nursing teacher Ms Yellowley.

To simulate real patient care, students learn in our industry-leading nursing labs with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Our simulated learning environments include electric beds, electrocardiogram (ECG) machines, vital signs monitors, IV trolleys and life-like simulator manikins programmed for specific scenarios.

In the scenario, one team of students are nurses who monitor the patient by taking vital observations, monitoring blood sugar levels, and assessing the patient for pain and level of consciousness. If the patient continues to deteriorate the nurses decide when to call an emergency, with the second group of students practicing the rolls of the emergency team responding and taking over as care providers until the patient is stable.

Students describe the exercise as extremely helpful as they feel like they’re in an actual emergency scenario with the manikins making it so realistic.

“It’s one thing to learn critical thinking, but it’s great to have the hands-on opportunity to apply these skills to a real situation,” said TAFE Queenlsand nursing student Ms Hetherington.

A debrief after the scenario runs allows students to analyse their individual and team performance, and identify what they would do differently next time.

TAFE Queensland Clinical Lab Coordinator Renee Hastrich said the best feedback they receive is after the students have been on placement where they start to experience these situations in a real hospital.

“The students let the teaching staff know how it ‘clicked’—they knew everyone’s roles and were able to perform their tasks within the team. That is the true advantage to running these simulated scenarios,” she said.

Other clinical skills learned during these exercises include documentation, basic patient assessment, pain assessment, respiratory assessment, verbal handovers, airway management, neurological observations, neurovascular observations, medication administration, basic and advanced life support including CPR, as well as communication skills, which are vital in any nursing setting.

For more information about studying nursing at TAFE Queensland visit our website.

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