Whether you choose to join us at our Southend campus or at our Colchester campus, you'll have access to our fantastic facilities. We want our on campus experiences to thoroughly prepare you for the wide range of hospital, community and third-sector settings which you may experience during placement or when you graduate, so we have a mix of facilities at your fingertips.
At each of our Colchester and Southend campuses, we have two simulation or "mock" wards which can be set up to represent a variety of hospital based environments.
Our simulation wards are equipped with hospital beds and clinical equipment that are equivalent to what can be found in our local NHS hospitals. We pride ourselves on creating a learning environment which will thoroughly prepare you for the eventualities of placements and your nursing career beyond that.
The teaching we do in the simulation wards does not replace going on placement for our nursing students. But rather, we foster a supportive and nurturing environment where you have a safe space to ask questions and develop your skills at a more relaxed pace than in real life. We pay attention to detail to ensure you get the best experience, for example, we have a machine that can make realistic looking mock injection medication, so you have experience of administering medicines from vials and ampules, just as you would in clinical practice. We also have equipment like intravenous infusion pumps that you will find in local hospitals, so you can become familiar with such equipment before going on placement.
The wards contain training manikins which can be used to simulate various scenarios such as wound care, breathing problems or sepsis. The training manikins are really sophisticated – even their pupils dilate, you can observe breathing and take their pulse! Each training manikins is hooked up to a monitor which show their vital signs. Our academic skills tutors can remotely set up to half an hour of simulation, during which time, the patient can deteriorate or show new symptoms. You must use your knowledge, clinical skills and teamwork to assess the situation and take appropriate action as the situation develops. The great thing about the simulation wards is that should it all go wrong, we can hit the reset button and then you can try again!
Training manikins can also be used to practice clinical skills such as intubation, putting in/removing urinary catheters, taking blood specimens and cannulation. We also have simulation body parts to practise these skills on too.
At both our Colchester and Southend campuses, we have Community Living Spaces. These are spaces which can be used to simulate home or care/nursing home environments. Each of our four spaces are furnished with various adaptive bathrooms and kitchens as well as living room and bedroom furniture. Each room has ceiling hoists, but we also have free-standing Hoyer lifts which can be used too.
If you choose to study Mental Health Nursing, you will find sessions in these spaces particularly beneficial as many of your placements will be in community settings.
We have many Consultation Rooms at each campus. These rooms can be used by any subject area to simulate meeting with a patient in a smaller space and developing a caring, compassionate professional relationship. Using these spaces might help you to think through how to create positive professional relationships with your patients, and what you can do to put a patient at ease. For example, your body language in a smaller environment can change the atmosphere of the interaction (i.e. being in close proximity and standing up when the patient is sat down can be intimidating).
Flexible teaching spaces
On both campuses we have flexible teaching spaces which can be set up to aid practical learning such as basic life support and manual handling. Throughout the course, we may use these rooms for simulations, seminars or lectures too.
If you study Occupational Therapy, you'll use the mock wards in Colchester to practice your clinical skills and also take it in turns with your classmates to be each other’s patients. You'll learn to use slide sheets to change a bed with the patient still in bed, or to move a patient up/down a bed. You'll also learn to use a range of assistive equipment such as Hoyer lifts (the hoist to get from bed to a wheelchair or commode, etc), and sit to stand aids. Having the opportunity to be the patient is beneficial to your development as it'll change your perspective, develop your empathy and help you to explain what will happen next when supporting a patient with assistive equipment.
We have three dedicated Community Living Spaces on our Colchester Campus. Each space is equipped with adapted bathrooms, kitchens, furnished living rooms and a bedroom. They can be set up to simulate various community settings to include a patient's home or a care/nursing home. You will role play scenarios with your course mates to practice your skills, but also to build your understanding of how it might feel to be the patient.
Each room is kitted out with a ceiling hoist so you can work through realistic scenarios that you may encounter on placement, for example, a patient is unable to get out of the bath independently and requires to be hoisted. You will learn how to support your patient and maintain their dignity, as well as protect your own health and well being through appropriate manual handling.
On our Colchester Campus we have two Communications Labs which are exclusively for our Speech and Language Therapy students. One lab contains resources and assessments specifically for adults. We also have a bank of adult anatomy and physiology models which you can use to develop your knowledge. The computers in this space have software to explore anatomy and physiology also as well as looking at soundwaves and sound production. Our second lab contains resources and assessments specifically for paediatrics. Clinicians often comment that our extensive collection of assessments is enviable to the realities of practice. However this means you'll be familiar with a wide range of assessments and have a good knowledge of what assessments are possible.
On our Colchester Campus we have two simulation or "mock" wards, which are fully equipped to replicate hospital based environments. As a Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) student, you will use the mock wards in Colchester to practice your clinical skills. You will take it in turns with your classmates to be a patient in the beds or chairs on the ward, and as a pair you will practise skills such as swallowing assessments. You might complete physical examinations of the mouth and throat, as well as checking their reflexes for gagging, coughing. You will prepare a series of substances for your "patient" to consume, from water to thickened liquids, pureed foods through to regular foods, and you will then watch for problems with chewing, swallowing or breathing.
You will also use the mock wards to practise skills such as oral care - you'll take turns to examine each other's mouths, and practise brushing each other's teeth! You can role play teaching one another about good standards of oral hygiene.
At our Southend Campus and at our Academic Dental Clinic at Bromley Road Dental Surgery in Colchester, we have skills labs for Oral Health Science. These skills labs contain state-of-the-art phantom heads – these are mannequin heads with an open mouth and removable sets of teeth which the you can use to practice your clinical skills. Each station is equipped with the clinical tools (ie scalers, suction etc) is equivalent to that found in practice.
Our postgraduate students are taught at our Academic Dental Clinic. This clinic is the only place in England to teach advanced periodontology in a non-teaching hospital setting. This approach means our students have access to patients in a general dental practice setting, and will learn in an environment which is parallel to the settings where they are employed.
On our Colchester Campus, we have many Consultation rooms. These rooms can be used by any subject area to simulate meeting with a patient in a smaller space and developing a caring, compassionate professional relationship. Using these spaces might help you to think through how to create positive professional relationships with your patients, and what you can do to put a patient at ease. For example, your body language in a smaller environment can change the atmosphere of the interaction (i.e. being in close proximity and standing up when the patient is sat down can be intimidating).
On both campuses we have flexible teaching spaces which can be set up to aid practical learning for all of our courses. These rooms can look completely different from one day to the next. These rooms can also be set up to support our Psychological Well-being Practitioner students who often use these spaces to develop their telephone-based support and protocols. We set the rooms up 'call centre' style with banks of telephone, and students will role play with their course mates.