While simulation has long been a key component of military and aviation training, Simulation Centers have recently become a standard in healthcare training as well. Students can apply learned skills in a realistic clinical situation without impacting live patients. It allows them to go beyond the technique to apply critical thinking – how to assess, plan, implement and evaluate care.
Simulations range from “low-fidelity” where students role play a particular situation, to “mid-fidelity” that can incorporate computer programs and video games, to “high-fidelity” with computerized mannequins as the patient. Through simulation, healthcare workers and emergency responders can be exposed to common health situations and those that are less common, such as weather disasters, plane crashes, and even infectious chemicals. According to an article in the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, the exercise assists in learning clinical treatment protocols as well as leadership, communication skills, and confidence in managing patients.
Power’s experience with Simulation Center construction features all types of simulation. Actual hospital rooms are built within educational spaces, usually with a one-way window into the simulated room. In some centers, a separate control area houses the electronics needed to operate the simulation. Power’s teams work with owner vendors to provide needed electrical, IT, and A/V services into the area. Owner-supplied equipment is incorporated into Power’s construction schedules to ensure the space is fully prepared when the simulation equipment arrives onsite.
Power is currently working with the design team to develop a simulation center within an MOB on a hospital campus in the Northwest suburbs. This 20,000 sf space will include simulations for MOB exam rooms, hospital patient rooms, and ORs. The same headwall, charting area, and family spaces will be included in each room to provide a “real-life” environment to train healthcare workers. One-way mirrors are used to view the simulation and microphones installed in the rooms allow for interaction with trainers during the simulation. Videotaping can also provide for classroom evaluation and instruction.
To invite Power to collaborate on your next simulation center, contact Ken Gorman, Senior Vice President.