ACU a partner on national teaching grant

Published: Monday 28th November 2016

Professor Anne Cummins, DVC (SLT) congratulates ACU staff, Dr Katie Bunch (School of Psychology, Melbourne) and Ms Louise Alexander (School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine, Melbourne) for being partners on a recently funded National Innovation and Development Grant - Risk Aware: Enhancing students’ clinical competence in risky environments through blended simulation based learning.

The project, led by Deakin University and including six partner universities, was funded in the final round of the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Innovation and Development Grants, 2016 – 2017. The project, Risk Aware, addresses the challenges outlined by enhancing psychology students’ clinical awareness and competence in risky environments.

Specifically, the project will:

  • Develop, implement and evaluate a blended simulation‐based learning program that will enhance psychology students’ clinical competence and safe practice in risky environments and create work ready graduates, and
  • Inform higher education providers and their industry partners on the conditions and practices required for a safe student placement experience.

As Ms Alexander explained "…graduates working in clinical environments within mental health face a range of challenges, including applying their newly-acquired skills to current situations whilst remaining cognizant of potential situations which may result in risks to themselves, other clinicians and clients alike. Some of these risks include verbal or physical aggression. Predicting and responding to such behaviours requires skills that can be taught using simulation."

We believe that psychology students who undertake this program at ACU will benefit from an enhanced understanding of how to protect themselves in clinical environments, improving their clinical experience and making them more competent in a range of workplace situations.