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Lee Health Opens State-of-the-Art Simulation Lab at Gulf Coast Medical Center

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(Fort Myers, Dec. 21, 2022) --- Lee Health nurses and CNAs can now grow and hone their skills in a highly realistic simulation lab that just opened at Gulf Coast Medical Center.

The new, innovative training experience includes a fully-equipped 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 manikins and patient monitors to tailor scenarios for specific training needs.

The manikin is extremely realistic, and can even make voice commands and perform functions that mimic a real-life medical condition.

“The high-fidelity simulators are very life-like. It’s important for nurses and CNAs to learn in an environment that closely mimics real patients in the hospital setting,” said Traci Grove, RN, Lee Health’s simulation education coordinator. “They blink, and their pupils constrict and dilate. We can manipulate different heart tones, lung sounds and bowel sounds. They have multiple airway features including intubation and tracheostomy care and suctioning. We also have the ability to insert chest tubes, peripheral IVs and urinary catheters. It’s a real, hands-on experience.”

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 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 in July.

The simulation labs are an opportunity for physicians and other frontline team members to join together for scenario-based training.

“The lab can create fully immersive scenarios around an event, like a code blue, or any other area a participant needs training in,” Grove said. “We want these scenarios to be exactly how it is on the unit so participants can receive the best possible training and our patients continue to receive the highest standard of care.”

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