If you’ve been to Foresterhill lately, you may have seen a large building site, just to the left of the main ARI entrance. This building site is The Matthew Hay Project. The building will house a Clinical Skills Training Unit, which will be a place for medical students, nurses, physiotherapists, doctors and other clinical staff to practice things like blood taking, listening to a heart, putting in a catheter or carrying out an endoscopy.
The Clinical Skills centre have some dummy manequins for practicing on (before you get to real people!) There are adult mannequins (e.g. SIM MAN) and baby mannequins (SIM BABY). There is a dummy called “Harvey” that has a whole host of heart problems!
The centre also need real people to pretend to be patients. This allows doctors to practice their communication skills (how well they talk and listen). Sometimes, they need people to pretend to be patients for the doctors exams. You don’t have to have any medical problems to be a volunteer patient.
If you have a good memory you could be a simulated patient, here you will be asked to learn some information about a health problem and a medical student will question you, again, you don’t have to be ill to take part, in fact they make sure you don’t have the health problem you are role-playing.
The Aberdeen Cancer Charity “Friends of Anchor“ have given £26, 000 to the Matthew Hay Project, to allow a “drop in” centre, for medical staff to practice techniques when they have time, you can read more about that here. Finally, if you are interested in the development of The Matthew Hay Project, they have a live webcam so you can watch the building going up.