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Time capsule highlights importance of nursing program


Brigid Veale
8 August 2005
A time capsule containing nursing training material and photos will be fixed inside the walls of the new Southern Cross University and North Coast Institute of TAFE nursing laboratory being built at the Coffs Harbour Education Campus.

A ceremony to place the time capsule in the building will be held at the Coffs Harbour campus on Tuesday, August 9, at 11.30am.

The clinical laboratory, to be used by Southern Cross University and North Coast Institute of TAFE nursing students, is due to be completed in November. It will include a clinical laboratory, a patient ensuite and work spaces.

Southern Cross University associate lecturer Ms Janie Petersen said the time capsule was a way of recognising the importance of the nursing program in Coffs Harbour, which started in 2004.

"We are so lucky to have been able to start the nursing studies program in Coffs Harbour and anticipate that it will still be going strong in 50 years," Ms Petersen said. "This is great way to reflect on what we are doing now."

The capsule includes material from Southern Cross University and North Coast Institute of TAFE, such as unit statements describing the clinical subjects being taught in 2005 and the skills needed to look after patients. It also includes photos of students and tutors working with various pieces of equipment in the current clinical labs.

Ms Petersen said it was envisaged the capsule would be opened in 50 years time.

"That's a time frame long enough for there to be some big changes. If we look back 50 years the nurses were doing the same basic skills but without the technology we have now."

Ms Petersen said the introduction of technology which reduced the manual lifting of patients had been a big step forward, along with changes driven by the spread of diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

"It's so exciting to be on the ground at Coffs and look down the track to the next 50 years. We are working very hard to collaborate with TAFE in using the physical resources and tyring to look at how our programs can work well together.

"This is going to be a delightful place to work and teach. The students will be able to learn all the nursing skills in a hospital-like setting."

Regional program co-ordinator Dr Tony O'Brien said the Bachelor of Nursing program, which started in Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie last year, was in high demand.

"We have strong student numbers in first and second year and are looking forward to continued strong growth in 2006. The completion of the new clinical teaching facilities will enhance our teaching program and give our students the best possible clinical skills training."

Applications for 2006 are now open through the Tertiary Admissions Centres. For information about the nursing program at Coffs Harbour or Port Macquarie contact 66593349 or email [email protected]