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The Skills Labs of Canterbury Christ Church University

Skills labs (or Laboratories) are educational facilities used in medical training to facilitate learning of both basic and advanced clinical skills in an up-to-date setting, reflecting changes of healthcare delivery. They generally replicate specialist clinical practice areas and are outfitted with functioning equipment and detailed life sized manikins.

These provide an ideal environment for re-enacting different clinical scenarios and for honing practical skills without fear of harming a real person.


Canterbury Christ Church University skills labs include midwifery, operating theatre, wards and scrub room areas together with an occupational therapy flat and Radiography Suite.

The adult and young person manikins are life-size and are unsettlingly similar to the real thing in both appearance and touch. There is also the “Sim-Baby”, a new-born simulation manikin, which mimics breathing, noticeable chest movement, a blood pulse, gastric sounds and baby-like vocal sounds.


All in all the skills labs provide an insightful and odd environment where real and pretend merge into a life-size ‘doll-house’ where the cycle of life and death is played out day after day by life-less objects.

All photographs taken at the 'Skills Labs' at the Health Wellbeing and the Family Department of Canterbury Christ Church University in Chatham Medway Campus.


I would like to thank the Head of the Department and the Skills Labs team for their support throughout the project.


All images © Cristiana Montis 2011

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