SILVER-Q celebrates a decade of collaborative learning in Bundaberg

31 March 2022

CQUniversity and The University of Queensland Rural Clinical School (UQRCS) have celebrated a decade of delivering an important collaborative learning experience for nursing and medical students in the Wide Bay' known as SILVER-Q.

An acronym for Simulated Inter-professional Learning in a Vertically integrated Environment in Rural' Remote and Regional Queensland' SILVER-Q is an initiative developed and delivered by UQRCS with CQUniversity as a partner.

Hosted at the CQUniversity Bundaberg campus nursing labs' the program involves final year nursing students from CQU and final year medical students from UQ working together in a fully simulated hospital environment.

Throughout the simulated experience' the nursing and medical students work side-by-side to support' diagnose and treat simulated real-life patients played by actors' who present with a range of symptoms or injuries.

Each patient scenario is designed to give participants an insight to how each clinical role fits within a multi-disciplinary team as they interact and communicate with each other to treat a patient.

Following each scenario' students debrief with each other and the clinical facilitators from each discipline to understand what actions worked well and what areas could be improved.

CQUniversity Nursing lecturer' Colleen McGoldrick' said the program helped students to further understand the importance of multi-disciplinary communication when it comes to patient care.

"SILVER-Q is a very exciting program that involves of a series of collaborative scenarios aimed at achieving teamwork and better communication between disciplines in a controlled simulated hospital environment.

"Medical and nursing students typically don't get to work and study alongside each other' sometimes this will happen on placements' but it is generally something that they don't truly experience until they are actually expected to take on the role when they have completed their degree and working in a clinical setting'" she said.

"The collaboration between disciplines through SILVER-Q helps the students prepare and understand their own role' and how their unique experience and training fits within a multidisciplinary healthcare team.

"Communication is the leading learning objective of this exercise however the students are also able to practise skills that they have learned throughout their studies and clinical placements.

"The students all felt that the program would be very beneficial for their ongoing learning and helping them to prepare for real-life practice'" she said.

Head of the Bundaberg Regional Clinical Unit at UQRCS' Dr Therese Ryan believes that interprofessional learning activities are an opportunity for further development between the two universities and that the involvement with other health science disciplines is a way of ensuring that our future health workforce is ready for the collaborative practice essential to patient-centred care.