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Simulated wards give Mater Education students a feel for nursing


Future nursing assistants have been given a glimpse of what it’s like to work on the wards as part of Mater Education’s Health Experience program.

Mater Education Vocational Education Training In Schools (VETiS) students completing a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance are provided with a hands-on opportunity to care for volunteer patients in a simulated ward in South Brisbane.

The students come from a range of different high schools to partake in the program, supporting them in their journey to gain qualifications in becoming an Assistant In Nursing.

This Health Experience Day is unique to Mater.   

Mater Education VETiS Program Coordinator Jo-Anne Lobb said that this was a key point of difference for students keen on pursuing a career in nursing.

“This type of hands-on simulation experience is not offered to other VETiS students in Queensland, positioning Mater as the preferred Training Provider of choice for school students,” she said.  

“Up to nine Mater volunteers offer their time to act as patients for the day, giving the students a chance to have a conversation with them and build their customer service skills.

“There’s no official placement linked to their Certificate II or III so this is also a great way of exposing them to what it’s like to be a nurse.”

The students complete a range of activities at the Health Experience Day, ranging from checking their blood pressure, measuring temperatures, wound care, checking pulses, assisting with movement in and out of bed and serving morning tea to the volunteer patients.

Jo-Anne said it also provides an environment where students can raise any questions they have.

“The Health Experience Day is very beneficial. The students thoroughly enjoy having the volunteers there as it makes it more realistic,” she said.

“We talk through solutions to questions and how the students would deal with certain situations in a ward such as how to manage a patient who is naked.

“It’s important for the students to know that no question is silly and that the person next to you is probably thinking the same thing.”

The program also gives Mater Education the chance to outline the next steps forward for students who are leaving school and could enrol in either a diploma or university course, leading to employment with Mater.

“We do a debrief at the end of the day and let the students know about the great pathways a Diploma of Nursing, studied through Mater Education, can provide,” Jo-Anne said.

“Many students opt to continue their nursing journey through Mater which is a great outcome.”

For more information about the Health Experience program, visit the website: https://www.matereducation.qld.edu.au/career-entry-qualifications/certificate-iii-in-health-services-assistance

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