26 September 2023

Hospital staff step up for mental health

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Staff from the Central Adelaide Local Health Network have collaborated with Adelaide University and the South Australian Ambulance Service (SAAS) for the delivery of a mental health immersion learning experience.

Clinical Practice Director for Acute and Urgent Care at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Madeleine Baillie said the hospital’s Emergency Department experienced a significant number of patients presenting with complex behaviour, including approximately 350 patients per month requiring mental health consults.

“A training needs analysis identified that there was a gap in knowledge about mental health presentations, restrictive practice and challenging behaviour,” Ms Baillie said.

“We collaborated with Adelaide University and the SAAS to create an immersion learning experience, which involved the Adelaide University Simulation Team engaging with mental health consumers who shared their story with some actors.”

Scenarios where then filmed, featuring common Emergency Department presentations.

“The learning package also includes an online learning module and face-to-face lectures. The VR experience included watching the pre-filmed scenarios and a facilitated debrief to discuss learnings and what we might ‘do differently’,” Ms Baillie said.

She said feedback from the immersion sessions had been positive and included comments like: “It was incredibly insightful to sit back and observe the entire patient experience.”

“The VR headsets can be used into the future for additional education experiences, including some geriatric and dementia-specific scenarios to upskill staff,” Ms Baillie said.

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