Training at the cutting edge

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In a world where advancements happen on a regular basis, trying to keep on top of what is new, current and best practice can often be a challenge. It is a challenge being tackled head on by Ear Science Institute Australia at its world-class educational facility The Avant Education Centre in Subiaco.

The Avant Education Centre offers a range of courses from simulation training to high skill surgical training to online courses with a focus on ear and hearing health.

The simulation training is used to recreate reality and allows health professionals to practice their skills in a crisis situation such as a cardiac arrest. Simulation is increasingly seen as a vital part of education and training for all health professions and so it is vital to the work carried out at Ear Science.

The facilities are currently used by students from medical schools across WA, as well as a number of GPs and other health professionals. Ear Science Head of Education Dr Claire Langdon said seeing a variety of different students was beneficial to ensuring the future doctors of Perth were aware of ear and hearing health.

“Hearing is something that is often taken for granted, however in the medical field we need to constantly be aware of the hearing capabilities of our patients, from their ability to hear emergency services after a car crash to a GP recognising the need to face a patient during an appointment to ensure they can read lips,” she said.

One of the ways Ear Science is working to keep up to date with the continual advancements in technology and processes is through the incorporation of research into the current teaching curriculum.

“Ear Science’s strong links to research means we are providing our education participants with the latest information and knowledge,” Dr Langdon said.

“As soon as research findings have been proven and accepted as the new process or procedure for optimal patient care, they are passed onto our students.”

An amazing facet of The Avant Education Centre is the flexibility it offers in a variety of situations. There was a very strong vision behind the planning of the facility to encourage the ongoing education and training in ear and hearing health, which Dr Langdon said was due to the foresight of Ear Science Director Professor Marcus Atlas.

“We have a very large floor space which can be configured to a range of activities, and terrific audio-visual facilities so that we do things as exciting as stream live surgical procedures to a lecture theatre of students,” she said.

The future for Ear Science and The Avant Education Centre is all about continuing to provide high-quality training to the medical community.

The organisation is looking to continue to support patient safety and quality in healthcare by building on its existing relationships, offering more ‘inter-professional’ training where people from different health disciplines work together as a team and ensuring the education and training it delivers continues to be recognised for its excellence.

“Ear and hearing health will continue to be our key focus, however we know our facility can provide education to a range of other industries and further assist our ability to influence the awareness of hearing loss,” Dr Langdon said.

“I see education increasingly linked to our research arm, helping to train the next generation of doctors to carry out the work of Ear Science Institute Australia.”