An innovative simulation and training centre that will be used by rural generalist nurses to increase their clinical skills has been officially opened in Wellington.
NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said the Centre for Rural Education, Simulation and Training (CREST) Simulation Centre will deliver high-quality, simulation-based education using a variety of mannequins, patients, case studies and scenarios, in an environment replicating rural emergency departments, wards and residential aged care facilities.
Mr Park said CREST is a valuable asset to WNSWLHD, providing the opportunity to develop and maintain the unique skills needed by rural generalist nurses.
CREST incorporates the latest innovative technologies including high-fidelity and life-like mannequins, along with virtual reality and augmented reality training programs to provide a safe and immersive experience.
“Developing the CREST in Wellington will reduce the need for clinical staff to have to travel outside the region to upskill or complete clinical competency requirements,” Mr Park said.
“This facility also plays an important role in introducing nurses into the District from elsewhere in Australia or overseas. They can orientate together, practice clinical skills, and at the same time develop life-long peer networks that will support them wherever they work across Western NSW.
“It provides nurses and other clinicians with high-quality training and education experiences to keep working safely and confidently in a rural setting”.
“Our regional and rural workforce provide a vital service to our communities. We know these methods increase learner engagement and knowledge retention, enabling advanced skill development,” Mr Park said.
“Staff need to have advanced practice skills to work across multiple clinical settings including residential aged care, acute, subacute, end-of-life care, adult and paediatric care as well as emergency and trauma cases. The centre will enable the WNSWLHD staff to be prepared and trained for all of these situations”.
WNSWLHD Chief Executive Mark Spittal said the District is proud to deliver another critical component of its People Strategy, which is designed to grow the local health workforce through a range of initiatives, including providing strengthened training and development opportunities.
“Our District is committed to building a strong and sustainable workforce, now and in the future. To do that, we want to use innovative strategies like the CREST to give our clinical staff great development infrastructure that they can access in our own District,” Mr Spittal said.
“This is one of a range of important initiatives that are currently being deployed to develop and strengthen the health workforce across the District.”