University of Pretoria Logo
English |  Afrikaans |    
  
The Skills Laboratory

SKILLS LABORATORY

ABOUT US
The Skills Laboratory offers all students within the Faculty of Health Sciences the opportunity to acquire clinical, communication and ethical skills which will play an essential role in their ability to effectively diagnose and treat future patients.

The Faculty’s Skills Laboratory was the first of its kind in Africa, and since its inception in 1996, it has continually proven its worth in the training of health care professionals.  The usefulness of such a facility has been proven by the establishment of similar facilities at other universities’ medical schools.

The laboratory assists all of the departments within the School of Medicine and the School of Health Care Sciences with shaping a well rounded pool of knowledge from which the student may draw upon in his/her future practice.

The Skills Lab is equipped with a wide array of resources in order to provide a high standard of training.  Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (adults and children), pelvic, breast and head mannequins constitute but a few of the many teaching tools.  Dummy arms, backs and baby heads are used to teach skills such as phlebotomy, inserting intravenous drips, executing a lumbar puncture and inserting sutures.  The Lab also has examination rooms, where practical assessment of skills takes place in the form of OSCE’s (Objective Standardised Clinical Examinations).  Standardised Patients are employed for teaching and assessment purposes.  They are trained to enact certain medical conditions, thereby creating an authentic and a safe learning environment where the students can improve their diagnostic, treatment and communication skills.

Of course, such a unit may possess the most cutting edge equipment and infrastructure, but it is the people who utilize them that ultimately determine the efficacy with which the unit functions.  The lab currently employs two full time staff members: the executive head of the department and the head administrator.  Further more a senior and a junior lecturer are employed, as well as a teaching assistant on a part time basis.  Additionally several part time staff use the lab’s facilities.  Click on the 'Staff of the Skills Laboratory' link in the left hand pane to view more information.

Most of the courses are presented by departemental lecturers within the different Schools.  The Skills Lab, however, has an academic responsibility for General Procedural Skills (GPS 280) for second year medical and dental students (averaging a cohort of 290 students), GPS 380 (an average cohort of 220 medical students), GPS 370 (an average cohort of 60 dental students) and GNK286 (Basic emergency care) for medical, dental, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, radiography and oral hygiene students (an average of 500 students per year).

Appropriate environments are created for the skills learning and OSCE's in the following study blocks:


           Trauma Block (GNK 583) (5 rotations),
           Neurology Block (BOK 482) (16 rotations),
           Pregnancy and Neonatology Block (BOK 382) (43 sessions),
           Psychiatry and Social Dysfunction Block (GNK 581) (21 sessions),
           Health and Heath Care Block (GNK 582), and
           The Student Intern Complex (SIC) skills sessions (330 sessions).  

For more information on the Skills Laboratory's role in the presentation of these modules, click on the 'Information for Students' link in the left hand pane.

Recently a model for peer-assisted learning was incorporated to support guide the student skills learning during voluntary practice sessions.  The tutors are also encouraged to provide guidance and support where needed in the hospital / clinics and to perform diagnostic (detecting individual student problems) and evaluative (detecting teaching problems) assessment.  The Laboratory is accredited and certified by the Resuscitation Council of South Africa to offer training in basic (BLS) and advanced cardiac life support for adults (ACLS) and infants (PALS); for more information on enrollment requirements and costs, course contents and dates, click on the 'External Courses' link in the left hand pane.



 

News

A drone is not a cop – UN rights expert concerned about technologies that depersonalise the use of force - 23/10/2014
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, has raised concern about the increasing use of technologies that depersonalise the use of force –including armed drones– not only on the battlefield, but also in domestic law enforcement.
[Read More]
 
Centre for Natural Hazards relaunched - a new model - 23/10/2014
A new model of the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Natural Hazards in Africa (formerly known as Aon Benfield Natural Hazard Centre, Africa) was recently launched with the objective of accommodating the changes in its strategy
[Read More]
 
UP’s Exceptional Young Researcher of 2014 delivers findings to an international audience - 23/10/2014
Prof Darryn Knobel is providing great insight into the control and foreseeable elimination of rabies. He recently presented his work at the 39th World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Congress held in Cape Town. Prof Knobel leads UP’s Faculty of Veterinary Science’s research group on dog population ecology and rabies epidemiology, which studies the ecology of owned, free-roaming dog populations in resource-constrained communities, particularly at wildlife interfaces. The group's aim is to better understand the interactions between dog population dynamics and rabies control, as well as other aspects of dog health and welfare.
[Read More]
 
Centre for Intellectual Property Law hosts Faculty's second annual Prestige Lecture - 22/10/2014
Prof Esmé du Plessis, former partner and currently senior consultant at Adams & Adams and extraordinary professor in the Department of Private Law at the University of Pretoria, presented the Faculty's second annual Prestige Lecture on “Dynamics of Intellectual Property Law: Interfaces with other areas of law”.
[Read More]
 
Research published on challenges in South Africa’s rural education - 22/10/2014
An article about research partnerships in the South African rural education community, co-authored by four staff members in the Faculty of Education of the University of Pretoria (UP), will appear in the January 2015 edition of the acclaimed journal, Teaching and Teacher Education.
[Read More]
 
Social Development Month (October) - 22/10/2014
Pro-poor strategies such as social grants, the national school nutrition programme and the expanded Public Works Programme, amongst others, reflect a better understanding in that the most vulnerable are assisted to break the poverty trap.
[Read More]
 
Living Lab for Innovative Teaching Research established in UP’s Faculty of Education - 21/10/2014
The Living Lab for Innovative Teaching Research at the University of Pretoria (LLITUP), a research unit aimed at interdisciplinary research collaboration in teaching and learning, was launched at UP’s Groenkloof Library Research Commons on 17 October 2014.
[Read More]