About the Simulation Center
The Simulation Center applies sophisticated simulation and trainer technologies to educate new physicians, residents, nurses and first responders. The Florida Atlantic University Simulations Center (FAUSC) integrates new simulation and trainer technologies into the curriculum for medical students and medical professionals in practice. The literature suggests, and we have observed, that participants will learn faster, become familiar with advanced technology and become more self assured in their skills while under the supervision of trained instructors.
FAUSC utilizes two state-of-the-art simulation laboratories to provide safe, effective practice for healthcare students and providers in an effort to reduce and/or eliminate preventable adverse events. The Center was first established in 2006, and provides training to medical students, interns, residents, nursing students, and licensed healthcare workers from all fields of medicine and nursing. A second Center was added in May 2009 in West Palm Beach at the Mollie Wilmot/Palm Healthcare Pavilion to serve the northern part of Palm Beach County and northern counties as well. The Program has contracts with local fire and rescue companies, county healthcare districts, and private practitioners to train newly hired staff, to update current staff, and to re-certify professionals.
The Program has contracts with local hospitals for ongoing professional development for individual staff members and for teams. The Center trains nurses and doctors in the emergency department for events related to cardiology, pulmonary episodes, pediatrics, multi-system failure, and trauma. For the critical care staff, the process is similar, except that trauma is omitted. For labor and delivery, the Center presents normal, breech and caesarian births, including hemorrhages and acute distress. For the neonatal intensive care staff, the Center presents acute airway management issues and system failure. For pediatrics, the Center includes drowning, anaphylactic shock and drug overdoses, among other conditions. The Center provides training for telemetry and the Med/Surg nurses as well. With an emphasis on focused physical examinations and patient history, cases are presented that will challenge the nurses to use their critical thinking skills to respond to medical scenarios they will likely encounter in their rounds. The Center is continuously expanding medical cases and adding realism with lab results, other test results, x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and electrocardiograms. Facilitators and participants administer correct intravenous and oral medications, and facilitators provoke incorrect drug circumstances to create emergent conditions.
The FAUSC created model emergency rooms with two stations for patient treatment in Boca Raton at the FAU campus and two emergency stations in West Palm Beach at the Palm Healthcare Pavilion. The rooms are fully equipped with gurneys, monitors, IV poles, defibrillators, blood pressure cuffs, simulated oxygen ports, and all equipment and supplies required to respond to medical emergencies. Each Center uses two high fidelity wireless, I-STAN full body mannequins in the emergency room stations. In addition, the Centers currently use two Emergency Care Simulators (ECS) mannequins in a Trauma/Triage area specifically designed to simulate an outdoors setting. This setting can be changed to reflect an in hospital or in home setting as well. The mannequins are programmed with pulses, heart beats, and pupillary changes and they can breathe, bleed, blink, and excrete fluids including urine. They have accurate responses to pharmacology and ventilation, and they will react to treatment by duplicating the human characteristics associated with these agents. The mannequins are computer controlled by highly skilled technical facilitators outside the emergency area who manage the proceedings from a one-way viewing area. The simulators track all actions taken and all pharmacological agents given to the patients. If incorrect drugs or dosages are administered, the patient responds exactly as a human patient would respond. Preceptors and session facilitators provide guidance at each station. Video cameras record the training sessions to allow administrators, team members, and others to monitor the situation and to provide additional feedback and reflection. The videos can be reproduced and given to participants for further review. Each participant is required to complete post-session medical orders (admissions, discharges, etc.) or describe the SBAR (situation, background, assessment, recommendation) to physicians based on the scenario presented. Preceptors and facilitators meet with participants to debrief (after wash) and record summary findings.
In addition, the West Palm Beach location has a pediatric ECS mannequin as well as an infant PDA STAT baby. The Noelle Birthing Unit has been purchased to commence training in the labor and delivery practice areas as well. Additional simulators have been acquired to expand the practice area and provide competency training for the healthcare professionals we train.
Additionally, the FAUSC has models used for pelvic exams (one with electronic tactile sensors), rectal exams, prostate exams, testicular exams, breast exams, adult and pediatric resuscitation, venipuncture, suturing, and cardiac murmurs. Additional models are available for comprehensive eye (retinal) and ear exams. Protocols for the examinations and next steps after examination are included for these areas. The Center has an ambulance that is used to simulate patient transport and can be used to demonstrate how easily a patient may experience rapidly escalating complications or may expire between sites.
FAUSC has already developed and implemented more than 100 scenarios for use in the Center's simulation labs, with each simulation taking approximately 40 hours of staff time to develop, evaluate, revise, and implement. Many of the scenarios can be modified to create unlimited new events that require response from the participants. Teamwork and excellent communication skills are required for successful performance within the simulation environment, and these skills are included in the evaluation components. Participant progress (task complexity, speed, accuracy of decisions, interpersonal communication, preventable adverse effects, etc.) can be tracked over time with repeat visits to the Simulations Center and with exposure to similar skills in different scenarios. This is especially beneficial to the medical students and medical teams that practice at the center. The Center focuses on real time reactions to patients and medications in realistic surroundings. By utilizing the unique Simulation Training Facility, advanced training courses take on a realistic, hands-on approach. Florida Atlantic University is committed to supporting the Center and its growth. The Center is an acknowledged leader in simulation training for South Florida.
The goal of the Center is to enhance patient safety and treatment by simulating medical scenarios and providing the opportunity to practice, prepare and analyze every aspect of the chain of patient care and treatment, thus leading to avoidance and reduction in medical errors. By creating a sense of reality, through the "suspension of disbelief" on the part of the participants, they believe they are involved in an actual medical emergency. This added dimension stresses even the most seasoned professional, and greatly enhances the learning experience. Through the utilization of sophisticated simulators that combine "high tech" with "real world" responses, the Center simulates medical conditions and employs interactive activities to repeat these procedures until the desired response becomes second nature. The key to learning is to develop "critical thinking", and be able to respond to the myriad of scenario conditions that the professionals will encounter outside of the Center.
- About the Center
- Specialized Training
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