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‘Reality’ training for student doctors

10th May 2021

A simulation style training programme for the management of IV (intravenous) fluids is available for the first time for medical students in Northern Ireland.

Designed by Renal Consultant, Dr Neal Morgan in conjunction with Southern Trust’s Medical Education team, the programme is now available to student doctors on placement at Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area hospitals.

Along with traditional learning resources, SIVMAP (Simulation for IntraVenous fluid Management And Prescribing) offers students a ‘real world’ clinical training environment to help them transition from theoretical learning to postgraduate practice on a hospital ward.

Ward based scenarios with actors as patients and nursing support staff, are set up for students to manage whilst being monitored and assessed. Debriefing after each exercise allows for discussion and reflection on key learning.

Dr Neal Morgan, The Southern Trust’s Clinical Lead for Renal Services explains: “Intravenous or ‘IV’ fluids are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the hospital setting, with many adult patients requiring IV therapy to prevent or correct problems with fluid or electrolyte status.

“Deciding on the quantity and composition of IV fluids needed and the rate at which they should be administered is an essential skill as inappropriate prescribing can cause harmful complications and decisions must be based on careful assessment of each patient’s needs”.

“Mapped to NICE Clinical Guidance, this course aims to give students realistic learning scenarios and to help them build their confidence and competency in assessing, prescribing, administering and monitoring patients on IV fluids.”

Feedback from participants has been very positive, with consistent reports of increased confidence after taking part – one student doctor said: “Overall, I thought it was a brilliant session and I feel more confident in fluid prescribing after doing it.”

SIVMAP is currently being explored as an option to support Junior Doctors teaching regionally.

Watch ‘SIVMAP: Simulation for Intra Venous fluid Management And Prescribing Simulation Based Learning Programme’ in action here

Daisy Hill Hospital and Craigavon Area Hospital are both official Queens University Teaching hospitals.