The University of Hong Kong (HKU)’s School of Nursing has recently announced its plan to introduce three new community nursing simulation centres in the upcoming school year. One of the centres is designed to replicate the poor housing conditions of 'mosquito-sized' subdivided units in Hong Kong, providing students with a more realistic environment to learn and practise community nursing service. 

Taking community nursing training to the next level


With old fashioned home appliances and all kinds of mess such as nylon bags inside the flat, it is certainly a challenging task to carry out any care and treatment within such cramped space.

“The bed is messy. Different from a regular hospital environment, you may find it difficult to set up an appropriate work station. Even seemingly simple tasks like cleaning a wound may become a challenge for students,” expressed Dr Janet Yuen-Ha Wong, Director of the Bachelor of Nursing Programme.

“The simulation also tested if the students are observant to spot any potential danger in the room; for example, whether the patient has stored their medications and syringes at appropriate locations. Students can also get to know the patient’s habits from the room settings; for instance, smoking habits,” she added.

Apart from these community nursing simulation centres, the school will also increase the number of simulation wards and introduce a new model of simulators, which can simulate human-like behaviours such as sweating and bleeding.

The nursing school will also increase the number of simulation wards and introduce a new model of simulators, which can simulate human-like behaviours such as sweating and bleeding. Photo credit: School of Nursing, HKU
The nursing school will also increase the number of simulation wards and introduce a new model of simulators, which can simulate human-like behaviours such as sweating and bleeding. Photo credit: School of Nursing, HKU

Instructors can control the simulators via computer programmes. Critical situations such as plunge in blood oxygen level and difficulties in breathing may happen when students are assigned to take care of several patients at the same time. This tests their skills in managing priorities and division of labour within the team, while allowing students to learn from failures – to improve from past mistakes in a safe, but equally realistic environment.

According to Wong, such simulation provides students more opportunities to experience real-life scenarios and intervene within a carefully monitored and specific clinical environment. Ultimately, the simulation is expected to contribute to overall patient safety and optimise treatment outcomes.

Multiple mini interview (MMI): New interview format at HKU School of Nursing


Despite the understaffed situation and long working hours, the nursing profession remains a popular choice among the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS) admittees. This year, approximately 2,000 candidates have put HKU’s nursing program as one of their top three choices in their JUPAS application.

Similar to HKU’s Faculty of Medicine, the nursing school is introducing MMI as its new interview format. Consisting of a series of short and structured interview stations, MMI serves as a screening stage to assess candidates’ non-cognitive qualities including their empathy, reliability, communication skills, problem-solving abilities and teamwork.

The school also reaches out to NGOs and invites retired elderly to be simulated patients. Photo credit: School of Nursing, HKU
The school also reaches out to NGOs and invites retired elderly to be simulated patients. Photo credit: School of Nursing, HKU

Putting aside the strenuous working environment of the nursing profession, there is always a bright side of the career. Colen Chiu, who was a nurse at the front line, shared his caregiving experience which inspired him the mission of the profession. He recalled his internship experience when he was responsibled to take care of an elderly man who could not speak and take care of himself. He helped the patient to clean his wounds until he passed away, right before his internship ended. Till today, such experience has reminded him that the profession is not just about a promising career which requires nurses to deliver care from day to day – more than so, it is a career that touches people’s heart and offers help to those in need. MIMS

Read more:
CUHK Nursing's Director shares her take on manpower and maximising the role of nurses in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital set to introduce community nursing services in 2017
The ‘surplus’ of psychiatric nurses in Hong Kong

Sources:
https://news.mingpao.com/pns/dailynews/web_tc/article/20170710/s00002/1499623735313
https://www.hk01.com/港聞/103111/港大護理學院增模擬病房-添置識流血-流汗高仿-病人-培訓學生
https://topick.hket.com/article/1853805/港大護理系面試 籲考生「清醒」
http://orientaldaily.on.cc/cnt/news/20170710/00176_075.html