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Introducing the Simulation Lab at Gulf Coast Medical Center

From Lance Dominguez, Lee Health’s Simulation Education Coordinator

One thing we pride ourselves on at Lee Health is our commitment to learning, teaching and preparing the next generation of health care professionals.

That’s why we’re excited to announce that the Simulation Lab is now open at Gulf Coast Medical Center. It offers highly realistic training in all types of scenarios for nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

The new state-of-the-art training experience is on the first floor of the hospital and includes a fully equipped intensive care unit (ICU) and medical surgical rooms, each with its own high-fidelity SimMan® 3G PLUS simulator and patient monitor.

A control room between the simulation rooms enables facilitators to control the high-fidelity simulator manikin and patient monitors to tailor scenarios for specific training needs.

It’s important for nurses and CNAs to learn in an environment that closely replicates real patients in a hospital setting. This ensures that they are equipped to provide high-quality patient care and are as prepared as possible for all types of real-world scenarios, especially low-frequency/high-risk situations.

The manikin blinks and its pupils constrict and dilate. Facilitators can manipulate different heart tones, lung sounds and bowel sounds and the manikin has multiple airway features including intubation and tracheostomy care and suctioning. For a real hands-on experience, participants can practice caring for chest tubes, peripheral IVs, urinary catheters, and so much more. The manikin can mimic a wide array of training scenarios.

From the control room, the facilitators observe participants through a one-way window that gives them a direct view while they manipulate bedside monitors and simulator responses. A recording system captures audio, video, annotations, patient monitors and simulator data, so participants and facilitators can review the footage to identify successes and opportunities for improvement. The lab also includes a debrief room for these post-simulation reflection sessions.

The simulation team can also design fully immersive scenarios around an event, like a code blue, or any other area a participant needs to complete and enhance their training. It’s important for the simulation team to create an experience that enables the participant to suspend disbelief, which ensures the best possible training so patients continue to receive the highest standard of care.

The simulation lab encourages interprofessional simulation experiences, where physicians and other frontline team members collaborate for scenario-based training during simulation-enhanced interprofessional education. It increases their skills, knowledge and elevates the level of already high-quality patient care our teams provide their patients.

The Simulation Lab at Gulf Coast Medical Center is part of a larger strategy for simulation training across the entire Lee Health system. It comes just a few months after the Nursing Education Center at Lee Memorial Hospital opened last July.