The University has opened its second Clinical Simulation Center, a 7,500-square-foot space located in Medical Science Building II. The new center goes beyond the original, smaller facility, allowing more than double the amount of professionals and students to train in a simulation environment.

The second Clinical Simulation Center is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, such as various adult and child mannequins which have the ability to talk, cry, breathe and have full heart and lung sounds. These mannequins respond to the different medical interventions that may be practiced by those training there. The technology allows professionals to train for real-life scenarios in a low-risk environment.

At the new facility, computer-based simulation lessons guide students, physicians and nurses through practice exams and material. There are five inpatient rooms that imitate those in the University Hospital, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. Such rooms create a realistic environment, in efforts to mimic real life scenarios as closely as possible. 

Dr. James Cooke is an associate professor of learning health sciences and family medicine and the executive director of the Clinical Simulation Center. He is a firm believer in the effectiveness of simulation learning. In a press release, he highlighted how simulation learning allows interdisciplinary teams to work together, as well as provide and receive valuable feedback.

“Debriefing allows learners to reflect on and discuss their medical decisions and allows expert facilitators to guide teams to improve communication, efficiency and overall performance,” Cooke said. “Intentional and well-designed practice leads to better outcomes.”

Nursing junior Rachel Sabin also believes in the power of simulation learning.

“The opportunity to learn from your mistakes is priceless in the nursing field,” Sabin said. “Working through realistic clinical scenarios side-by-side with my instructor has taught me to think critically and practice the skills that I learn in lecture.”

The School of Nursing as a whole has shown its commitment to simulation learning, opening a new building in the fall of 2015 that includes six simulation rooms. This allows students to practice real-life situations they may encounter while working with patients. 

Sabin is currently in her obstetrics rotation, during which she spends six hours each week in the Nursing School’s simulation center.

“I feel so much more confident when I am interacting with ‘real’ patients at the hospital,” Sabin said. “The new simulation center will allow even more students to refine their skills and ultimately improve patient safety.”

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