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11/27/2017

HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals open new simulation labs


What’s 5’8”, breathes, bleeds, blinks and talks? While it sounds like typical red-blooded human, it’s also a simulation mannequin named “Hal” that’s part of the latest addition to HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals’ clinical education departments. Two mannequins, in fact, and multi-faceted simulation labs that mimic the clinical setting. The technology in the “sim labs” enables the hospitals’ clinical educators to assign mannequins numerous real-life health situations for recently graduated nurses and nursing veterans alike to detect, troubleshoot and treat. Situations such as cardiac arrest, an open wound, a seizure, neurological issues, allergic reactions and more.  Though not new, the hospitals also have mannequins that mimic a woman going into labor and giving birth, as well as newborn mannequins.

Sacred Heart Hospital’s newly-opened sim lab officially opened September 6 with a blessing and open house. St. Joseph’s Hospital also has a similar sim lab. The two hospitals’ sim labs are unique in the fact that each is located inside the hospital, not at a separate school or facility, making the training convenient and timely.

“Clinical students in today’s world are very familiar with learning and training in a simulated environment,” says Hannah Schroeder, nurse educator at Sacred Heart Hospital. “Our sim labs enable us to connect in the way new grads have learned so that we can continue that training on the job and well into their clinical careers.”

Recent grads aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the new labs. “We’ll also be able to help veteran nurses and providers hone in on their preceptor skills by having them teach new nurses what they know in a simulated patient environment,” says Christine Zimmerman, nurse educator and clinical education facilitator at both hospitals.

Mannequin -based simulations allow for virtual feedback using computers that regulate the mannequin's compressors, mimicking pulses and chest raising. These mannequins simulate heart tones and other vital cues that when connected to monitors, provide real-time information to students.

The labs also offer real-time charting and documentation capabilities, something that today’s clinical professionals need to be proficient in. Additionally, each sim lab is fully integrated with cameras and microphones to record actions and interactions.

“With these simulations, we put a lot of emphasis on the debriefing and lessons learned afterward, so that nursing staff understand what went well and what didn’t, and why,” adds Schroeder. “Practicing is the best way for us to prepare for the real thing. This is the best way for us to continue safe patient care.”
 

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