Simulating reality to skill future nurses

The Nursing Science Department is staying ahead of the curve in terms of training staff in the latest treatments and technologies.

Students are already reaping the rewards after lecturer Suveena Singh recently attended a simulation course at the University of the Free State.

The department’s Clinical Skills Laboratory also recently received a multi-million rand upgrade.

Singh said participants ran several simulation scenarios during the course.

Among other things her group ran a simulation with a manikin that simulated a five-year-old having an allergic reaction to Penicillin.

Another focus area was on learning how to do moulage.

“This is the art of applying mock injuries for training purposes. I practiced a few of the techniques on myself and I got quite a few stares as I went out in public. Since coming back I used subtle moulage for the practical exams of the students. The course was a great learning experience but more than that I got to meet attendees from different parts of South Africa & Africa. We have now become a simulation family,” said Singh.

State of the art makeover for nursing lab

The Clinical Skills Laboratory in the Department of Nursing Science recently received a multi-million rand upgrade.

The laboratory now boasts new simulation equipment and academic and clinical staff members have received training to maximise the use of the new simulation models.

The models allow students to practice on “lifelike” mannequins.

The simulators can produce heart and lung sounds and are able to cry, scream and moan.

This allows students to practice in a safe and controlled environment and helps to ensure that they are well prepared when they go into clinical practice.

Among other things students are able to practice urinary catheterisation, draining of gastric fluids, IV lines, injections and intubations.

Six staff members participated in the recent training session.

“We are proud of the staff of the Department of Nursing who are taking a lead in preparing themselves for quality teaching and learning of our undergraduate students on the Bellville campus. Lecturers are actively involved in teaching and very involved in Work Integrated Learning and the accompaniment of students in the skill laboratory,” said Prof Karien Jooste, Head of the Department.

Three musketeers say farewell

Collectively they have 138 years of nursing experience and at their retirement party these three nursing sisters made sure they passed on at least some of that knowledge to eager CPUT students.

Martha Petersen, Maureen Ross and Mareldia Patton started out their nursing careers together over 46 years ago and this month also officially ended it together.

The bulk of their years were spent working the wards of Groote Schuur where they trained countless nursing students- first from Western Cape College of Nursing and more recently from CPUT which is due to officially take over the college in 2016.

The trio were given an official send off at the recent International Nurses Day which was celebrated at the Athlone Campus- although Patton is expected to delay her retirement until a replacement for her is recruited.

She told the gathered trainee nurses that being a good nurse meant being mindful of the smaller details like your appearance.

Petersen told the audience that she has enjoyed a graduation party in the very hall they were gathered.

“All the nurses wore white and our partners wore black and we had the party right here in this hall when it was still called the Nico Malan,” she says.

The women are fondly referred to as The Three Musketeers because they always moved together throughout their careers.

Patton told the audience she had never taken a day of sick leave in her entire career.

“When I had a cold I just thought about the poor people I nursed and how they were really ill,” she says.

“That always made me get up and go to work.

Petersen echoed her sentiments and  says nursing was not a job but a passion.

“We are there when life begins and we are also there when it ends. We are awesome,” she says.