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US students eager to see nursing training facilities

23 May 2018

Inspecting state-of-the-art nursing simulation facilities at the University of the Sunshine Coast is high on the agenda for a visiting group from a university in the US.

Eight nursing students and two academics from Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh arrived on the Sunshine Coast last weekend for a two-week study tour to learn about health care in Australia.

One of the highlights of the visit will be experiencing USC’s world-class Cave2 facility – one of only four in the world, but the only one used to provide three-dimensional simulations for teaching purposes.

The visitors will spend Thursday, 24 May touring this and other USC facilities, where they will enjoy some virtual reality simulations, serious gaming and other activities.

USC Lecturer in Nursing Matthew Mason welcomed the RMU students and academics to the region for an experience he believes will provide a holistic view of health care and culture in Australia.

“It’s not just about health care – it’s about health beliefs,” Mr Mason said. “As a profession, we’re already embracing the globalisation of the nursing workforce, and I think that’ll filter down into study programs across the country.”

Students will visit the Sunshine Coast Health Institute, The Buderim Men’s Shed, Medicrew GP Practice in Buderim, The Royal Flying Doctors Service base in Brisbane and The Buderim Hospital during their study tour of the Sunshine Coast region.

USC Academic Director for Simulation and Visualisation Associate Professor Patrea Andersen said the visit would help promote the work USC is doing on a world stage.

“This will give us an opportunity to share our learnings and expertise – particularly in simulation and visualisation – and gain international exposure that will strengthen our areas of research,” she said.

The students have travelled to USC as part of RMU’s Faculty Lead Educational Abroad Program.

RMU Director of Health Services Administration Program Assistant Professor Holly Hampe said the group was looking forward to working collaboratively to understand the differences between the Australian and US health care models.

“We’re looking forward to learning a lot about the simulation program here to compare it with what we do back home,” Professor Hampe said.

- Tom Snowdon

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