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Research no dummy

Universities have joined forces to develop streamlined clinical training.

The University of Queensland and Monash University schools of nursing and midwifery have joined forces to help the government reform the education and training of midwives.

The consortium was awarded the phase two research component of government agency Health Workforce Australia’s (HWA) Simulated Learning Environments (SLE) National Project for midwifery.

According to lead researcher and UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery director of research Associate Professor Fiona Bogossian, this research is part of HWA’s strategy to produce more effective, streamlined and integrated clinical training arrangements.

“SLPs can range from partial task trainer-models or mannequins to gain competency in simple techniques and procedures through to virtual reality systems.,” she says.

“They are well recognised as effective methods of learning that can be utilised in midwifery education, however the extent to which SLPs might be used to substitute for clinical experience or to extend pre-registration midwifery curricula is uncertain.

The main aim of the research is to gain national agreement for the discipline of midwifery on aspects of existing professional entry curricula that can be delivered via SLPs.”

Researchers will map the SLPs currently being delivered at each accredited nursing and midwifery school in Australia and conduct a systematic review of research related to SLPs to achieve clinical learning outcomes.

“SLPs represent many benefits for students and hospitals; they provide students with ample opportunities to practice their skills and complement learning through clinical placement experiences,” says Bogossian.

“The ability for students to increasingly complete the clinical learning component of their degrees through SLPs may help reduce the amount of time they need to spend on hospital clinic placements and advance the quality of their learning in the clinical environment.”

The final report, delivering recommendations to meet clinical placement objectives, is expected at the end of September 2011.

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