University’s simulation expert is first technician to get scientist accolade

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Date: 22nd Aug 2017

Simulation & Skills Facilities Team Leader Samantha McCormack has become the first simulation technician to be awarded the Registered Scientist Recognition (RSci) through the Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare.Picture of Sam McCormack

The Science Council accolade is an independent recognition of achieving and maintaining the standards required to join the global community of professional scientists.

Samantha (pictured) has led the way at Bucks New University in the art of ‘moulage’, the skilled art of applying mock, and often gorily realistic, injuries for training purposes, to stop its nursing students getting a nasty shock when they start life on the wards.

Samantha said: “I am delighted to have been awarded the Registered Scientist Recognition from The Science Council and I am especially proud to be the first simulation technician to have received it.”

Samantha, who has been at the University since 2011, being a technician meant she’s ‘a jack of all trades and a master of some’.

“My job involves the responsibility for the effective day-to-day coordination of the Skills and Simulation Team (SAS) and the 17 simulation labs across both campuses,” she said.

“With so many different aspects to the role, no two days are the same - I could be fixing a mannequin one day, then debriefing students after a simulation or training colleagues in moulage the next!”

Sam applying a woundShe explained that she had a lightbulb moment when a lecturer told students to ‘imagine’ a wound on a simulation mannequin.

She added: “I thought there had to be a more effective form of learning experience than just asking them to use their imaginations. I researched the available training, submitted a business case and secured funding from the University to complete a casualty make-up course.

“I use my moulage skills to apply wounds, scars and burns to volunteers. It’s much better for them to have that reaction with a volunteer than to risk offending actual patients.”

Sue West, Dean of Society & Health at the University said: “We are very proud of Sam's achievement, she has made a real difference in developing the confidence of our student nurses and the work of the SAS Team.”

Sam has been very busy – apart from the RSci she has also just been awarded a Distinction Masters in Medical and Healthcare Simulation from The University of Hertfordshire after three years of part-time study and working full time.

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