One must learn by doing the thing; for though you think you know it you have no certainty, until you try. Sophocles
The E&H School of Health Sciences Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Lab (ICSL) is integral to our health sciences programs and will be used to train our Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) and Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) students. Our teaching strategies emphasize critical thinking and the real-world clinical application of our didactic teachings. Incorporating robust experiential learning and training activities within our programs allows students to apply and practice what they have learned in the class room to patient cases in a safe and controlled learning environment simulating actual outpatient and inpatient encounters, promoting hands-on learning while simultaneously enhancing patient safety.
The ICSL will provide students extensive experience in discipline specific and collaborative, multidisciplinary (i.e., interprofessional) team-based clinical simulations using standardized patients (SPs) and high fidelity patient simulators (HFPS). SP simulations will have a special emphasis on the chronic health conditions common to rural Southwest Virginia. Our HFPS manikins will be particularly effective for presenting medical emergency scenarios involving dangerous changes in vital signs (e.g., cardiac arrest, diabetic emergencies, seizures, respiratory distress, trauma). Individual simulated patient scenarios and collaborative, team-based healthcare delivery scenarios have been shown to significantly improve students’ patient care skills, clinical decision making abilities, and, most importantly enhance patient safety and improve patient outcomes. Students trained in the team-based healthcare model will be more effective team members in their clinical practice.
The mission of the Emory & Henry School of Health Sciences (SHS) is to provide students with a robust learning environment that prepares them to be highly trained healthcare professionals who can provide quality, evidence-based care to their patients, both as independent practitioners and as members of patient-centered, interprofessional teams. The ICSL will be an integral and vital part of achieving this mission.
The specific objectives related to the ICSL include:
... Interprofessional education is essential to the development of a 'collaborative practice-ready' health workforce, one in which staff work together to provide comprehensive services in a wide range of health-care settings. It is within these settings where the greatest strides towards strengthened health systems can be made.World Health Organization
Our 4,356 sq. ft. Simulation Lab includes seven SP rooms (set up as outpatient clinical examination rooms), three HFPS rooms (set up as inpatient hospital rooms), a control room, a student debriefing room, a SP meeting room/lounge, a student waiting room, and server and storage rooms. Each simulation room is equipped with two ceiling mounted cameras and one microphone, a sink and cabinet, exam table or hospital bed, diagnostic and/or treatment equipment, exam stool and patient chair; hospital rooms are also equipped with fully functional headwalls simulating oxygen, air and suction. The control room is equipped with five computer stations, each having a separate computer monitor, two video monitors, and communication devices allowing for monitoring of hallways and simulation rooms and direct communication with each room and a hallway paging system. Three of the computer stations are also set up specifically for the HFPS. The server room requires extensive computer and network equipment to store video files and provide web-based access for students and faculty to review the recorded simulated patient encounters.
The Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Lab incorporates standardized patient activities (SP), high-fidelity patient simulation (HFPS) sessions, live video assessments, and procedural task trainers. In our Center, students from all of pur programs not only have the opportunity to learn and practice patient encounters and skills specific to their profession and program, but also in interprofessional teams to enhance team-based patient care.
Standardized patient simulation involves the use of individuals trained to play the roles of patients, family members, or others to allow students to practice full scope patient evaluations, including history taking, physical examinations and treatment, lab and imaging test ordering and evaluation, patient education and counseling, communication skills and professionalism, and other exercises.
High fidelity patient simulation uses high-fidelity manikins with respirations, breath sounds, heart sounds, palpable pulses, skin color, perspiration, pupillary dilation, and more. In addition each HFPS manikin has a monitor that can display EKG, pulse oximeter, blood pressure, arterial wave forms and pulmonary artery wave forms. The HFPS manikins enable advanced procedures, including, but not limited to, intubation, bag-mask ventilation, defibrillation, intravenous line placement, and medication injections.
Task trainer simulation involves the use of products to learn or practice a specific skill. The skill sets and the appropriate trainers differ from program to program. Our task trainers will be used for advanced airway management, phlebotomy, injections, intravenous line placement, otoscopic and ophthalmoscopic examinations, and many other training activities. For further information on just some of our many task trainers, click on the links below:
Every room and hallway in our Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Lab is equipped with advanced video monitoring and communication equipment. Each simulation room is equipped with two advanced video monitoring and recording devices, transmitting real-time sound and video to our faculty in the control suite. To enhance the environment of realism, during simulation activities, students enter the lab and evaluate simulated patients without ever seeing their faculty; faculty remain in the Lab's control room, monitoring students and simulated patient encounters via real-time video and audio feed. At the conclusion of each simulation session, students and faculty then meet in our Simulation Lab's debrief room where they can review recordings and discuss and critique encounters. As each session is recorded, students have the opportunity to review their individual recordings remotely, providing even further learning opportunities. Additionally, students have the opportunity to review and compare sessions and review their progress from the beginning to the end of their training.
In addition to our School of Health Sciences programs at Emory & Henry College, the ICSL is also available for use by our undergraduate programs and open for use by other colleges and training programs in the region, including medical resident and nursing programs.