Simulated heart attacks all in a day's work for graduate | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Simulated heart attacks all in a day's work for graduate

Making fake wounds and programming simulated heart attacks are all part of the job for University of the Sunshine Coast graduate nurse Crystel Schuchmann.

Crystel has gained work in the Fraser Coast labs of the USC School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine where she prepares high-tech patient manikins for scenario-based simulation training of students.

Crystel is among the first cohort of students to complete a Bachelor of Nursing Science at USC’s Gympie campus, which opened in 2013.

She said her study helped her secure her position as a clinical simulation technical officer at USC Fraser Coast this semester.

“My role involves creating hospital scenarios with the advanced interactive manikins that are as real as possible for the students,” Crystel said.

“I can program the manikins to simulate certain medical conditions and diseases, and the equipment we use to treat them is the same equipment used in the real world of health care.

“The manikins are dressed in hospital gowns, have patient arm bands, real charts at the end of their beds and they receive simulated drugs.”

Crystel found the nursing lab training a valuable part of her nursing degree experience and is delighted to now be back working in the labs with students.
“I really enjoy the satisfaction that simulation gives to students by creating health events, and helping to support our lecturers and tutors to facilitate a fantastic learning environment for future health practitioners,” she said.
“Having this experience lets you perfect your practice and upgrade your skills, so when you go on placement you have a head start and can take your practice into the ‘real’ world.” 

After several years working in administration and raising her children, Crystel said she jumped at the chance to enrol in Nursing Science when USC Gympie opened in 2013.

Crystel will be one of almost 1000 USC students attending four graduation ceremonies at USC’s main campus at Sippy Downs this Thursday and Friday.

— Clare McKay

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