The new reality of experiential learning

A state-of the-art simulation room in La Trobe Bendigo’s new $6 million Health and Biomedical Sciences Teaching Hub has been unveiled

Imagine if students could navigate through the body, right down to the cellular level - and how this could enrich their understanding of anatomy and disease?

Imagine if students could simulate the experiences of people with different disabilities - and how this could enhance their practice?

Imagine bringing students together from different health disciplines into a crisis, moving from accident scene to hospital - and how this could improve their ability to work in multidisciplinary teams?

These applications are now possible in the state-of the-art simulation room in La Trobe Bendigo’s new $6 million Health and Biomedical Sciences Teaching Hub unveiled last month.

Professor Mike Angove, Head of the Department of Clinical Sciences, said the opportunities for teaching and learning are countless.

“I was talking to dentistry staff about how they could use the room to place students inside a mouth to assess their knowledge of different teeth.”

“The room could also be used to simulate home visits for social work students, testing their ability to recognise different risks.”

“For paramedics, you could have an emergency situation with panicked bystanders, lights blaring and the volume up loud to really give that sense of things being out of control.”

In addition to 4K resolution and high-quality sound, the simulation room has a 360-degree camera for real-time monitoring external to the room and follow-up student reflections.

Professor Angove said the room is a safe space for students to make and learn from mistakes.

“It provides a much more challenging and authentic environment for assessments and workshops where we can better prepare students for the realities of the workplace.”

“In the past, it’s been challenging and costly to provide students with one-off simulated operating theatre or emergency room experiences. That’s no longer the case.”

“We can now build their confidence and resilience by placing them in a range of stressful scenarios, which we can run through time and time again.”

The facility is a first for La Trobe and was intentionally established in Bendigo to bring innovation to the forefront of rural health teaching and learning.

Professor Angove said: “We need to innovate in rural health to improve access, evolve models of care and strengthen the digital capability of the workforce. This facility is part of that bigger picture.”