The official opening of Bendigo TAFE’s $17.7 million new Health and Community Centre of Excellence took place in one of the simulation laboratories.
Lining the walls of the room were hospital beds with mannequins for patients.
But these were no dummies.
Students could track changes in their patients’ pulses, respiration, and a range of other bodily functions.
“Sometimes it might be a breathing difficulty. It might be crying. When you actually pull back some of the bedding you get a surprise sometimes – there might be an injury,” nursing student Roslyn Tonkin said.
“And you don’t know what to expect – it just happens. That’s the beauty of it, because you actually are learning like you’re learning with a real person.”
Fellow nursing student Manjit Kaur said the new health training facility created a learning environment akin to that of a hospital.
That’s exactly what the masterminds behind the building had been aiming to achieve.
Each of the speakers at the official opening of the facility on Thursday stressed the importance of turning out ‘job ready’ graduates.
Victorian Minister for Training and Skills, Gayle Tierney, expected there would be ‘no excuse anymore’ for employers to complain about the levels of skill and expertise with which graduates enter the workforce.
Industry reference groups have been consulted throughout the creation of the new facility, and continue to be involved in the TAFE.
Bendigo TAFE chief executive Trevor Schwenke said the new centre of excellence was created in response to the anticipated needs of the region and the workforce.
Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, and Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, emphasised the government’s pride in TAFE and in the new facility.
And there’s more to come, with a new food and fibre centre for excellence in the works.
The new health training facility at McCrae Street, Bendigo, will be open to the public from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, March 31.