Medical students visit the centre in the first month of their undergraduate training, learning some basic principles of the practice of medicine. In years 1 to 3 they then follow a “systems based” curriculum, learning relevant procedural, physical examination and clinical communication skills. In the senior years, students spend the majority of their time in a clinical environment, but they learn additional procedural skills and acute care skills during further visits to the centre. The Ward Simulation Exercise in the fifth year, in which students undertake the role of the foundation doctor caring for a group of simulated patients with a qualified nurse, is an opportunity for students to put their skills together and rehearse the job they will soon begin.
Inter-professional learning sessions with medical and nursing students also occur. For example, team-work is fostered by getting students to manage acute scenarios in the simulated environment.
Nursing students come to the centre throughout their three-year programme. Much of their time is spent in clinical practice, but we increasingly use simulation to prepare nurses for clinical practice. A number of innovative programmes are being developed and run by staff from the School of Nursing.
Dental students mainly come to the Centre for clinical communication training. Additionally an award winning dental emergencies simulation session prepares them for managing resuscitation in a realistic dental context.
Postgraduate trainees in healthcare professions benefit from a range of procedural and non-technical skills training delivered both in the centre and within their clinical environments.
The “Doctor in Difficulty” programme uses the centre on behalf of NHS Education Scotland. We use the Ward Simulation Exercise to assess doctors with performance problems who have been referred by their deanery.
The successful national optometry programme run in conjunction with NES prepares qualified optometrists for expanded roles. Similarly, the national pharmacy programme prepares qualified pharmacists for their role in prescribing and advanced practice in managing clinics and minor illness/injuries.
In order to support the development of doctors during their Foundation years, the Dundee Institute for Healthcare Simulation and NHS Education Scotland (NES) have worked together to develop a programme of simulation based education for trainees in Scotland. The programme, featured in an ITN documentary “Doctors of the future” (https://www.rsm.ac.uk/about-us/latest-news/doctors-of-the-future.aspx), involves a series of half day learning activities in which Foundation doctors take part in a simulated clinic and ward round. Due to its success, the programme has now been rolled out across Scotland.