On Monday 4 January, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) unveiled a new training simulator in The Traeger Clinical Innovation and Learning Centre in Brisbane, Australia: an immersive 360-degree simulator room complete with a state-of-the-art medical mannequin that ‘accurately recreates a range of medical conditions.’
Situated at the Brisbane headquarters, the training simulator was paid for entirely by a private donation to the RFDS and is intended to further hone the skills of professionals working within the RFDS who often find themselves dealing with emergency situations in a variety of different environments.
Ronan Sweeney, RFDS Manager of Clinical Training and Development, said: “These are people who probably have 10 years at a minimum of critical care experience, they’re at the pointy end of their game and experts in their field and they have a unique job.” He continued: “So we’re not trying to teach them how to suck eggs; we’re trying to create that like-for-like experience.” Sweeney said that the training simulator was able to ‘devise unique situations and simulate specific locations’ and thus doctors and nurses will be able to gain invaluable experience treating patients without leaving the simulator.
The addition of the training simulator marks another successful case of ‘pushing the boundaries of medical technology’ – a ‘tradition’ of the RFDS’ which began with Alfred Traeger’s development of pedal-powered radios that allowed the RFDS to communicate over long distances. It doesn’t end there: Sweeney and the RFDS team are already seeking to incorporate Virtual Reality headsets into the simulator to make it even more immersive in the future.
Ultimately, the RFDS aims to have an immersive training suite in each of its facilities throughout Queensland, Australia, which will allow medical professionals to access and train at any one of the centres, regardless of where they in Queensland.