Canadian-Based Western University Launches New Healthcare Simulation Suite
Canadian-based Western University Gazette recently shared about the new Western’s Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing program simulation suite! Looking to get similar attention to your healthcare simulation program? Read our comprehensive Media guide!
The new simulation suite in the recently opened FIMS and Nursing building and has been in the works for years. The faculty’s first simulation suite opened in 2005, according to Barbara Sinclair, coordinator for simulated clinical education at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing. “You can’t just send students in after giving them a little bit of theory and a little bit of lab practice and expect that they’re going to be able to provide care for people,” Sinclair said. “Things are just far too complex.”
The new simulation suite is much larger than its predecessor with 16 hospital beds. Sinclair said students learn a variety skills from the simulation set up that go beyond the teachings of a textbook as they work on communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving.
Nursing student Sachia Grogran recalled hearing patients scream “I can’t breathe, I’m going to die,” during the simulations. “It teaches you how to handle real life situations in a safe environment,” Grogan said. The robotic patients within the simulation hospital have a variety of illnesses and backstories that make each of them unique. “They get to understand the trajectory of chronic illness,” Sinclair said. “We looked at what the common things were that we were seeing — things like diabetes, stroke and lung disease; we wanted to get a good cross section of things students would see.”
In addition to the robotic patients, 50 per cent of the time students in the lab work with standardized patients who are played by actors. The actors have prepared stories, case histories and personality types which Sinclair said adds a different level of realism.