​From SSO to Associate Faculty

Rheily Wood completed her Year 5 SSO placement at the HNE Simulation Centre in 2013 and has never looked back. 

Rheily has remained involved in the centre and was our first volunteer instructor to be awarded the title of Associate Faculty.  Read Rheily's story ...


Year 5 Special Study Option (4 weeks)

Type of placement:  SIMULATION: Human Factors as applied to simulation for education, training, assessment and research purposes

Venue:  Hunter New England Simulation Centre, Level 1, Royal Newcastle Centre, John Hunter Hospital campus, Newcastle NSW

Supervisors:  Dr Cate McIntosh, Director & Senior Faculty

Please note: Students must be enrolled in an Australian Education Provider (University, TAFE, College) in order to commence a clinical placement within NSW Health.  Clinical Placements are organised by the Education Provider and managed in ClinConnect.


  1. Medical Education, particularly in the use of simulation for education, training, research and assessment
  2. Human Factors and Patient Safety, particularly the use of simulation as a quality improvement and/or research tool
  3. Critical Care and Anaesthesia (optional)


This term will provide you with an introduction to the role of simulation in healthcare by exploring the opportunities for use in education and training, as well as QI & research purposes.  During the term you will work closely with a diverse range of senior clinicians and observe up close how teams interact under pressure.  This will give you insight into your role in the hospital team during internship and beyond.

This term will interest you if you've considered the following questions:

  • What will my role in the hospital team be?
  • How do I transition between learning, continuing to learn and learning to teach?
  • How do I give meaningful feedback?
  • What is the role of simulation in the training of doctors and healthcare teams?
  • What are the barriers to effective teamwork?
  • What are 'Human Factors'?
  • How can we use simulation to improve patient safety?


At the start of the rotation we will meet with you to discuss your expectations and tailor the term in order to meet your objectives. You will be given an orientation to the centre and its operations.  During the term you will have the opportunity to participate in a number of the following activities:

1.  Participate in simulation-based courses for medical and nursing staff:

  • As an observer
  • As a participant in immersive scenarios with clinical staff:
    You will participate as ‘yourself’ (i.e. a Year 5 Medical Student on rotation to a clinical unit) and have the opportunity to review your knowledge and skills in relation to resuscitation of the acutely ill patient and ALS
  • Assisting behind the scenes in the control room
  • Play the role of a relative or other staff member

2.  Assist with the development of simulated cases:

  • Selecting clinical details and cases to achieve specific learning objectives
  • Development of props for scenarios including moulage, and case resources such as pathology and medical records

3.  Observe debriefings in order to be able to recognize effective, and ineffective, methods of giving feedback:

  • Review and critique debriefings with centre staff

4.  Assist with the operation of simulation technology including mannequins and AV systems

5.  Complete a project relating to simulation for education/training/assessment/research/QI, or relating to Human Factors, solo or in pairs

  • Present to instructors on a topic relating to simulation in healthcare of interest to you
  • The key objective of the presentation is to stimulate discussion
  • The project can take many forms such as a literature review on a topic of your choice, development of specific learning resources, participation in a safety project, evaluation of new equipment, participation in existing research projects if/when appropriate

6.  Use a self-directed workbook to guide your observations and reading

7.  Learn how to perform a literature review; use this to answer a question of interest to you, and to prepare a presentation for centre staff

8.  In addition to the start of placement meeting to set goals, students will meet weekly with the Supervisor or delegate to discuss progress


Students will have an opportunity to develop their understanding of the role of the junior doctor as part of the healthcare team by observing and participating in simulation for health care teams and students will develop their understanding of resuscitation and critical care through participation in teaching activities related to these domains.

Specific achievements:

  • Be familiar with the principles of adult educational theory
  • Be able to describe the variety of current use of simulation in healthcare education, and to discuss the strengths and limitations of simulation-based education
  • Be able to describe the application of simulation to solve patient safety issues, and to discuss how it can be used as a QI tool
  • Gain practical experience in developing and delivering simulated cases for a variety of target groups, including health care students and staff
  • Gain practical experience in facilitating small group learning activities in the simulation setting


Maximum of two students per rotation

Other information

  • Read more about the centre and the types of programs offered on the pages of our website
  • Access a PDF version of Year 5 Special Study Option information
  • Contact Director HNE Simulation Centre, Dr Cate McIntosh, via email to register your interest in completing a placement with us