Clinical Simulation Lab puts students in realistic situations

Justin Law

Making a mistake can have a life or death consequence; which is why health profession students have been provided with the Clinical Simulation Lab. robo1

“It’s an opportunity to practice skills in an unthreatened setting,” said Kathy Phillips, Clinical Simulation Lab coordinator.

The lab contains four adult replicas and one child, each valued at $50,000. These ‘patients’ can breathe and they have heartbeats and blood pressure. They have been modeled in almost every detailed way to allow for the correct practice of medical procedures in an environment that allows mistakes.

“This gives them an opportunity to see a patient in a bed,” said Tony Schmitt, “We expect the students to communicate with them as a real person.”

Tony Schmitt, educational instructor within the lab, has 18 students. These students visit the lab three times a week and spend four hours each session inside the lab.

Students practice inserting needles, taking blood pressure and getting a feel for the lab setting so they are oriented before interacting with real patients. The simulation lab allows students to make a transition from the classroom to the real world, a purgatory of health care.

The simulated hurobo2mans even have pre-programmed voice responses. Yes, they can talk to the students.  This added feature allows for a diverse dynamic and as a result the instructors can throw curve balls at the students during the class.

“We can test them at bedside,” said Tony Schmitt, “We can see how they process information and ask them to think about the steps they are taking with patients.”

Since the Simulation Lab’s inception four years ago, there have been 2,000 occurrences of simple tasks that include things like CPR training, learning vitals and basic safety. The nursing program is not the only ones who use the lab.

Security, as well was occupational therapy, utilize the unique aspects of the lab to advance their knowledge and orientation with real life situations.  Learning how to perform CPR as well as give shots and insert IVs are all important tasks that these simulated humans assist in teaching.

The active involvement of the teachers through the simulated humans allows for an intriguing aspect to the teaching. Without the students being able to expect a response, they have to be prepared for a variety of situations. Being able to critically think and form explanations under pressure are all real world lessons that are essential to learn in the classroom before moving to the “real world” job environment.