University of the Free State Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Courses

University of the Free State Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit

University of the Free State Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit – check below:

Sponsored Links

The Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit (CSSU) provides training for:

  • Undergraduate students in the pre-clinical and clinical years of the MBChB curriculum, as well as for
  • postgraduate interns and registrars.

The unit is situated in the Francois Retief Building, UFS, Block A, Room 200. Housed in the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, the unit was officially opened on 21 February 2013 by Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Clinical Skills Training

The CSSU is responsible for:

  • the teaching of clinical skills to the second- and third-year medical students and
  • the practice and mastery of these skills under supervision of medical doctors.


Clinical Skills Module

The Clinical Skills module is a practical module which integrates with the theoretical modules in the basic and pathological sciences.

The sessions for MBChB students in the pre-clinical years of study take place on a daily basis and every student attends a four-hour session per week. The course entails the early training and practice of basic clinical skills such as history taking and physical examination, and helps to develop professional attributes such as communication skills, professionalism and collaboration. University of the Free State Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit

Sponsored Links

Some of the clinical skills trained in the unit include using aseptic techniques; taking blood samples; administering intramuscular injections; urinary catheterization; intravenous infusions, and suturing.

See also  University of Limpopo Faculty of Humanities

Module-directed practical sessions familiarize students with the examinations and procedures relevant to specific systems such as the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular or respiratory system.


Clinical Simulation TrainingThe various simulations and simulators include:

  • computer-based manikins (human patient simulators);
  • part-task trainers;
  • flat screen and virtual simulations;
  • standardised patients; and
  • procedural skills simulations.

Aim and goal of the CSSUThe aim of the CSSU is to provide a facility where health sciences students and professionals are exposed to:

  • Training in a safe environment;
  • Training without harm to the patient;
  • Scenario-based learning; and
  • Debriefing.

These aims may lead to the development of leadership, communication, decision-making, situation awareness and inter-professional skills development.

The goal of the CSSU is to expose undergraduate and postgraduate medical and allied health professions students to inter-professional skills training. The secondary goal is to provide a facility for after-qualification refresher and training courses for various disciplines such as Cardiology; Intensive Care, Trauma and Emergency Care, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

See also  University of the Free State UFS Department of Sociology

Medtronic and University of the Free State Cardiac Simulation Unit

An exciting recent addition to the unit is the Medtronic and University of the Free State Cardiac Simulation Unit. The new laboratory will enhance training for cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, vascular surgery, anaesthesiology and multi-professional teams of doctors, nurses, perfusionists and other allied health professionals.

The Cardiac Simulation Unit will not only benefit the training of specialists in various fields of specialization but will also improve patient safety, reduce complication rates and mortality rates. The generous provision of equipment by Medtronic patients enabled the establishment of this unit.

Laparoscopic surgical skills trainingA virtual reality laparoscopic surgical simulator assists with the training and improvement of laparoscopic surgical skills of postgraduate students of surgical disciplines. A simulator does not replace training on real patients, but helps to train registrars on basic laparoscopic surgical skills (depth perception, hand-eye coordination, instrument handling, precision and speed) before operating on patients. Basic laparoscopic surgical skills are trained on the simulator before proceeding to the operating room – easing the steep learning curve to mastery of these essential skills.


The Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit has well-trained technical and educational staff who assist with the planning, development, setup, running of scenarios and facilitation of debriefing.

See also  University of Kwazulu Natal UKZN School of Health Sciences

The unit is designed to handle various assessment options such as long and short cases on simulated patients and human patient simulators, and part-task trainers as well as OSCE assessments.


  • Head of Unit: Prof Mathys Labuschagne –  assist with scenario planning, train the trainers and assist with the facilitation of debriefing and feedback sessions.
  • Lecturers / medical officers: Dr Marankie Swinfen and Dr Tsaletseng Ntsekhe
  • Simulation and skills coordinator: Ms Maryna Hattingh
  • Secretary – simulation & skills: Mrs Wilmarie du Toit – administrative support. T: +27 51 401 3848.
  • Scenario setup officer:  Mr Deon Seitheisho . T: +27 51 405 3104.
  • Technical and IT support: Mr Riaan Van Wyk – technical and IT support during simulations and for planning of scenarios.