Investing in resources to give students hands-on learning opportunities is a top priority for MCHHS.
The SIM Lab is a controlled hospital environment with real machines and mannequins used to simulate a real-life health care experience.
“The main purpose of the SIM Lab is to give students going into health care professions a chance to interact with the health care environment before they are thrown into their profession,” said Alexis Curran, MCHHS simulation coordinator.
“We create a scenario where it may be something they will see in the hospital. This will help prepare them for patient care.”
How the lab operates
Students use the SIM lab starting in their junior year. Faculty members monitor and control the lab.
The lab has a control room. Faculty and lab techs will sit inside and observe. They’ll also control the mannequin and the cameras.
“The lab uses a recording system so students can watch in a different room and help critique each other.”
The lab has several hospital rooms to replicate different scenarios. They include:
- Medical surgery room.
- Clinical room.
- Intensive care unit (ICU).
- Maternity room.
- Pediatric room.
Continuing to evolve
To give students more real-life scenarios, the SIM Lab continues to be upgraded and used in different situations.
“Last fall, we also started using simulated patients (SPs), which are human actors who take on a patient profile to make the scenario seem more realistic,” Curran said.
“Our students don’t perform skills like catheters or NG tubes on our SPs, but they have been a great asset for helping our students learn communication skills, and students have reacted positively to working with a live person.”
The goal for the future of the lab is to have departments within the college collaborate to give students more diverse experiences that are as realistic to the patient care setting as possible.