Simulation in the spotlight ...


Narrabri staff tackle simulation training

A team of instructors from the HNE Simulation Centre headed to Narrabri recently as part of their outreach program, delivering a series of simulation-based training sessions aimed to enhance patient and staff safety.

A staff specialist anaesthetist and three clinical nurse specialists were among the team who delivered one full day and two half-day sessions. The training was a great success with 20 attendees in total, including nursing staff and one GP.

Staff participated in tailored scenarios including rapid assessment and early management of problems such as cardiovascular compromise and impaired consciousness. The training also provided an opportunity for them to practice teamwork skills, leadership, care continuity in handover and the use of a systematic approach to the assessment and management of clinical unstable patients.

The feedback from all participants was overwhelmingly positive and reflected how much the staff appreciated the opportunity.


Improving safety for junior doctors

As part of the the JMO Wellbeing Project, the HNE Simulation Centre has collaborated with junior doctors working within HNE Health to develop a new course aimed at bringing about a culture change. 

The Improving Safety for Junior Doctors by Strengthening the Communication and Feedback Skills of Senior Doctors course will equip senior medical officers with a range of strategies to improve the dynamics and workplace culture within their team.

The course is particularly designed for Heads of Department, Clinical Directors, Directors of Medical Services, Directors/Supervisors of Training, Term Supervisors, and senior medical staff receiving a managerial allowance. Read more ...

First Cardiac Surgery Advanced Life Support (CALS) course for NewcastleCALS.png

Serious complications such as bleeding or cardiac arrest following open heart surgery can mean a patient's chest has to be re-opened in the ICU or post-operative ward to save their life.

These emergency situations are rare, but when they do occur it's vital that staff are well trained in how to respond.

That's why we're excited to announce that on 4 June 2018, our centre, in collaboration with John Hunter Hospital Intensive Care Unit, hosted the first Cardiac Surgery Advanced Life Support (CALS) course to be held in Newcastle.

Twenty six nurses and doctors from John Hunter Hospital and the private sector attended the training, which was led by one of the UK cardiothoracic surgeons who developed the course.

Going forward, the CALS course will be delivered in the HNE Simulation Centre twice a year. To find out more about CALS, go to

Harvard Professor coaches our instructors

Robert Simon_1.JPGDr Robert Simon, Senior Director of Educational Leadership & International Programs at the Centre for Medical Simulation in Boston, recently returned to the HNE Simulation Centre to facilitate an intensive coaching program for senior instructors. 

Dr Simon, a leader in healthcare simulation, last visited Newcastle in 2013 for the opening of the refurbished HNE centre. He has more than 35 years' experience as an educator, 25 of those specialising in research, development and training for high performance, high stress teams in aviation and medicine. Read more ...

Custom made in 3D

3D printing technology has taken simulation training to the next level. 

With assistance from HNE Health's Clinical Technology team, the Simulation Centre has commissioned 3D prints of real, anatomically-correct tracheas to replace the make-shift tubing prevoiusly used in our Can't Intubate Can't Oxygenate courses.

The new technology has significatanly enhanced the training by adding to the realism.

Read more ...

Congratulations to long-serving HNE Simulation Centre staff


The HNE Simulation Centre is fortunate to have many highly skilled, long serving health professionals among the team, several of whom have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to HNE Health.

Executive Director Partnerships, Innovation & Research, Jane Gray, joined Dr Cate McIntosh at a celebration in December 2017 where they presented five staff with awards and congratulated them on their achievements and dedication to the organisation.

Narrell O'Dea and Janelle Keers were each recognised for 36 years of service, Gemma Smith for 33 years, and Donita Pilton & Greg Little for 31 years.

The 'H' Factor

Human Factors expert, Thom Loveday from the Clinical Excellence Commission, and HNE Simulation Centre Director Dr Cate McIntosh, recently facilitated a course that allowed Patient Safety Officers from across the district to use real incidents and test themselves on the use of
tools and techniques for understanding how human factors influences decision making.

Read more ...

Difficult conversations made easy

A group of lawyers, social workers and disability workers have enhanced their ability to have difficult conversations thanks to three HNE Simulation Centre instructors volunteering to deliver the specialised training in their own time.

Here's what one of the participants had to say:  "It is an area of management that I lack confidence in and feel uncomfortable with. I have immediately commenced putting the skills into practice. The course is a tool for life." 

Read more ...


Getting it right really matters

Since a number of avoidable plane crashes in the 1970s, pilots have undergone Crew Resource Management training to further develop their technical, communication and leadership skills under a range of flying scenarios and crises.

This same kind of education and training also happens in Hunter New England Health at the HNE Simulation Centre. Read more ...

From student to Associate Faculty

Rheily Wood completed an elective placement at the HNE Simulation Centre during the final year of her medical degree and has never looked back. 

Now a Senior Resident Medical Officer in Critical Care, Rheily has remained involved in the centre and is our first volunteer instructor to be awarded the title of Associate Faculty.  Read Rheily's story ...


Prepared for any emergency

Nursing Unit Manager Christine Smith has first-hand experience of how simulation training translates to practice in a real-life emergency.

Having recently participated in a simulation-based team training course at Tomaree Community Hospital, Christine and her colleague were on a shift together when the training proved its worth.  Read more ...

Taking simulation to school


How do you keep 30 energetic eight-year-olds immersed in learning for more than an hour? 

Follow the example of Lambton Public School and have one of the children's dads run a hands-on simulation training session in the classroom.  Read more ...


Can't Intubate, Can't Oxygenate

Monica is admitted to hospital for a routine operation. She is taken to the operating theatre, put to sleep and given medication to paralyse her. The anaesthetist is about to insert the breathing tube through which she will be given oxygen during the operation when he discovers the anatomy inside Monica’s throat is abnormal and he is unable to get the tube into position. 

Read how simulation training prepares healthcare staff for recognising and managing such a crisis. 

Born to Teach

Dr Sacha Muller-Botti has always loved teaching and has literally been in the right place at the right time to fulfil his teaching aspirations.

In 2008 he was given the chance to become an instructor with the HNE Simulation Centre, which has culminated in becoming a fully qualified instructor with the internationally recognised Institute for Medical Simulation in Boston.  Read more ...

Responding to changing health landscape

New medical graduates starting their careers with Hunter New England Health are participating in an innovative simulation-based program designed to better equip them for life on the wards as a junior doctor.  

Aptly named Intern Boot Camp, the program typifies the definition of boot camp which is 'a program or situation that helps people become much better at doing something in a short period of time'. Read more ...


YouTube Project

The HNE Simulation Centre has been working in collaboration with Kaleidoscope – Children, Young People and Families, to develop a series of YouTube videos that show how the centre provides vital training to the teams who care for your kids. 

Check out the clips (cannot be accessed from HNELHD computers):