Just recently,Royal Philips in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg inaugurated a state-of-the-art medical training simulation lab on the University premises during the Johannesburg stopover of Philips’ fifth consecutive pan-African Cairo to Cape Town roadshow. This pioneering project will contribute to the hands-on training of medical students in South Africa by providing accurate simulations in imitated medical emergency settings.
The Simulation Lab project is part of Philips’ ambition to improve the quality of healthcare in South Africa through meaningful solutions,innovations and partnerships. Recognizing that lack of availability of trained and skilled healthcare professionals is an increasing challenge across Africa, Philips has been putting a lot of emphasis on education and training. Philips has equipped the Simulation Lab at UJ with medical equipment and diagnostic devices intended to facilitate the exposure of emergency care students and academic staff to current medical technologies and adequately prepare them to operate under a pressurised and intense work environment.
“It is important that students have a fully incorporated curriculum with simulation as a key component of teaching and assessment. Up until recently,staff and students made use of classrooms that were not purposefully designed for simulation-based learning. We started to explore ideas around creating an integrated, multi-disciplinary laboratory that would focus on teaching and assessment of clinical skills in a simulation environment. As a company focused on innovations in the healthcare sector, Philips has proved to be the ideal partner to bring this Simulation Laboratory concept to life,” says Dr Craig Lambert , Head of the Department of Emergency Medical Care, at University of Johannesburg.
The South African Department of Higher Education and Training has also played a key role in this project by awarding a clinical training grant to assist UJ in improving the clinical competencies of health professional graduates, and getting the Simulation Lab up and running.
The Simulation Lab is divided into four wards: an ambulance simulation room,an emergency department representing casualty simulation, a general ward and an intensive care unit (ICU). University departments of Emergency Medical Care, Biomedical Technology, Nursing and Radiology will benefit from the training at the new Simulation Lab.
Appropriate implementation training (on a “train the trainer” basis) will be provided by Philips, as this training is central to the success and sustainability of the Simulation Lab. Philips will also provide training to the academic employees and clinicians on the correct and most effective use of all the new technologies and products which they have installed in the simulation laboratories.
Peter van de Ven, Vice President, Philips Healthcare Africa, says, “Through our ongoing partnership with one of the most respected universities in South Africa (UJ), Philips is contributing much needed resources to ensure that there is a highly trained and qualified healthcare workforce for the public to rely on. We are helping to transform healthcare in South Africa by enhancing the individual performance of the next generation of healthcare professionals, which will ultimately benefit the patients in the form of good, reliable care”.
The partnership between Philips and UJ (established during Philips’ Cape Town to Cairo roadshow in 2013) will run over a three-year period and will support research opportunities related to new technologies in the emergency care environment. These learnings will contribute to Philips’ investments in healthcare research and development.
Professor Andre Swart, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Johannesburg concludes, “Philips is a company known for its commitment to enhancing healthcare across Africa and uplifting healthcare in the educational space. The partnership between Philips and UJ is a mutually beneficial opportunity; for UJ to expose ourstudents to new technologies and for Philips to introduce their latest innovations into the African healthcare environment. We look forward to a long and sustainable partnership dedicated to training a solid and reliable medical workforce for South Africa to depend on.”