A growing and ageing world population means that the demand for skilled medical personnel is higher than ever. In the USA alone there are over 3 million registered nurses and almost a million doctors. The UK’s NHS is the country’s biggest employer. Every year, thousands of students embark on a new career in medicine, whether as a doctor, midwife or nurse. The traditional method for teaching students the skills they need includes lectures, book learning, observing someone else performing the procedure and then finally getting a chance to practice the procedure themselves. The main disadvantage to this is the imbalance between the number of students needing to be trained, or to brush up on their skills, and the number of patients happy to volunteer for practice.
Also, in many cases students must learn to cope with some unusual scenarios which may not crop up often in a ward or hospital setting, without putting patients at risk. One of the best ways of doing this is by using a Skills Lab – a lifelike medical setting with state of the art simulator equipment which allows students to put their knowledge into practice as many times as they need to get it right.