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St George’s wins new funds for projects to enhance student learning

Published: 09 March 2022

St George’s, University of London staff have secured more than £270,000 in funding awards from Health Education England (HEE), for projects which will help advance students’ clinical skills and provide training on state-of-the-art equipment.  

BSc Healthcare Science 

Students on the BSc Healthcare Science will benefit from over £130,000 worth of investment in equipment which will simulate interventions in respiratory, sleep and cardiac physiological sciences.   

The EasyOne ProLab DLco will help students spend more time performing lung function tests, in a safe and secure environment, gaining additional exposure to equipment which may otherwise be limited during clinical placement.  

A Spacelab Pathfinder will aid students’ recognition and analysis of the electrocardiogram (ECG) – a fundamental tool for assessing heart conditions. The Pathfinder system will allow advanced clinical assessment of a range of real-life conditions, and enhance students’ clinical placements by increasing their exposure to the system, which is widely used in the clinic.  

The InterSim III Touch has a graphical interface simulating the human heart under pathological conditions – allowing students to programme and optimise implanted cardiac devices (CRM) safely in a non-patient context. The simulated ECG can show examples of irregular heartbeat patterns in a realistic setting, while a classroom version of the InterSim III will allow realistic and authentic group training, both in-person and online. 

Speaking about the funding award, Course Director and Senior Lecturer in Clinical Physiology Cynthia Simon said: “This investment will help our students on placement, ensuring they have opportunities to safely assess patients using leading-edge equipment. This is particularly important as several smaller clinical departments who provide placements are unable to offer exposure to the full range of diagnostic cardiology and respiratory services.” 

BSc Paramedic Science 

An HEE award of more than £115,000 will be used to purchase three high-definition manikins. These will allow students to practice advanced clinical assessment and management of a sick child and baby, and a pregnant patient immediately prior to, during and post-delivery.  

Commenting on the investment, Professional Lead Chris Baker said: “These new manikins will ensure our students have more opportunities to assess, examine and treat these patients in a safe environment. This is particularly important as maternity and paediatric units are already saturated for placement, and students have limited exposure to minor injury units.” 

In addition to the manikins, the HEE investment will also allow the purchase of Laerdal software. This includes an app that can link directly to the manikins, and provides video debriefing and live feedback. This ensures that when students are peer monitoring each other, the feedback given is structured and accurate.  

Medicine (MBBS) and Physician Associate Studies (MPAS) 

More than £20,000 has been awarded, which will be used to double the time students spend on the successful virtual surgical skills training programme, which was first developed in response to the pandemic.  

The in-house skills course is a collaboration between the University and the Trust, and consists of two stages. Stage one sees students taught virtual surgical skills over MS Teams, which readies them for stage two in the simulation centre. The second stage involves live demonstrations, individual feedback, and closely supervised development of hand and instrument knot tying techniques.  

The HEE award will fund a suite of videos to allow students to continue practising at their own pace – including videos on surgical techniques and potential post-operative complications. It will also provide each medical student in their penultimate clinical year with a surgical trainer/knot tying jig to use at home during the first virtual stage.  

Professor Philippa Tostevin, Professor of Surgical Education and Consultant ENT Surgeon said: “With this investment, we can provide students with two four-hour sessions at separate times of their surgical attachments to allow longitudinal training. Once established we aim to offer the course to students in earlier years of the medical programme, Physician Associate students and other healthcare professionals at the University and the Trust.”  

Health Education England 

Health Education England works with partners to plan, recruit, educate and train the health workforce. At any one time HEE supports more than 160,000 students and trainees whilst working closely with partners across the NHS locally, regionally and nationally on shared priorities.  

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