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News article

15th March 2019

The Biology lab was packed with enthusiastic students keen to learn how to treat an unconscious patient this week, as Dr Ben Walton visited College once again.

Students work together

Students work together

Friend of St Brendan’s and mentor to students, Ben is a consultant in intensive care and anaesthetics at Southmead Hospital and was joined by Dr Vicky Handford; an honorary teaching associate from the University of Bristol. Together, with a team of six and a robot simulator, they helped students to gain a realistic experience of treating a patient, reading ECGs and giving CPR. Special guest Athena was star of the show; a female patient simulator costing £50,000, she has a measureable pulse, breathes, blinks and has appropriate pupil reflexes, she even has the ability to provide appropriate voice responses! An integral part of the training team was technician Alex Cowen from the Biomedical Sciences simulation centre, who helped to manage the intricate software which runs Athena. Along with Athena and Alex were four members of the Medical school CPR teaching group, who so far this year have taught 600 students how to administer CPR!

Ben and Vicky split the large group up and all students had a role to play in the fully-immersive CPR training simulator. Students embraced the roles of Doctors, Nurses, Healthcare Assistants and Technicians to help Athena survive and managing her, as an unconscious person, in the correct ways.

The afternoon was a great success and all students enjoyed being able to interact with Athena and learn from some of the city’s top medical professionals. Working with current med school students was hugely inspirational for the St Brendan’s Biologists; many of whom will be planning to follow a similar route when leaving College.