THERE was a bunch of dummies at John Hunter Hospital yesterday but it was all part of a smart new way to train medical staff.
The doctors, nurses and medications inside the new Skills and Simulation Centre at the Royal Newcastle Centre are all real but the patients are fake.
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Innovation Minister Greg Combet officially opened the jointly-funded $3 million training centre at the hospital.
Inside, trainee doctors, nurses and other health professionals can practise their skills on computer-controlled mannequins that replicate routine procedures and human reactions.
The lab is the only such training centre outside of Sydney in NSW and has one of the only mannequins of its type in Australia.
The lab includes mock emergency department, hospital ward, operating theatre and intensive care unit.
Simulation Centre director Dr Cate McIntosh said the lab replaced an older, smaller lab affectionately known as ‘‘the cupboard’’.
‘‘It allows training without risking patient safety,’’ she said.
Mr Combet said the Hunter was recognised for the quality of its medical training.
Ms Skinner said it was important to invest in bringing the health workforce up to the highest possible standards.