June 21, 2018By Dr. Kim Baily

Glendale Career College Mobile Simulation Lab — A Closer Look

Mitchell Fuerst, President of Success Education Colleges (SEC) which owns and operates Glendale Career College, North-West College, and Nevada Career Institute,  and his team have built a fantastic Mobile Simulation Lab (MSL) on a Ford recreation vehicle chassis with pull-outs (Farber Specialty Vehicles, Columbus Ohio). SEC is a system of nine allied health colleges based in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas. As anyone who lives in the SoCal region knows, traffic is a nightmare. Instead of having students commute to a centralized sim lab, the sim lab goes to the students! Today we take a closer look

Vanessa Buescher RN, BSN, CCRN joined the sim team as the skills and sim lab coordinator during the build phase of the Mobile Simulation Lab (MSL) and now heads the program. Vanessa reported that many hours of research went into the design and build of the lab and also into the choice of manufacturers. The whole project took about 16 months to complete. The MSL is divided into two labs with the control room in the center of the vehicle, between the two labs. This is also the learner entrance for the bus. The driver and one passenger seat is part of the front lab. Both labs are fitted with all the necessary equipment including a code cart and headwalls. The control area consists of two separate control stations and therefore two simulations can be run simultaneously. The MSL is housed in a locked garage off campus every night for security reasons.

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The MSL arrived in September of 2017 and by November 2017, the sim team was ready for their first live simulation. They chose a post-op simulation for their beginning med-surg students as their first sim scenario. Vanessa said that even though they had done a dry run, they quickly learned what worked well and not so well in the smaller space.

The MSL is currently being used for the school’s RN (ADN) program with the possibility of expanding the use of the MSL to other programs.

In addition to supporting undergraduate nursing, Glendale Career College reached out to one of their clinical partners Parkview Hospital in Riverside to offer them staff training. The sim team drove the MSL out to Riverside, parked the sim lab on the hospital campus for a week and were able to complete in house training for the ICU, ER and PCCU staff in one lab while simultaneously running OB simulation training in the second lab. The hospital now includes simulation as part of their skills day activities. Not only is this a great use of shared sim resources within a community but given the huge competition for clinical placements, one might hesitantly suggest that schools which can provide simulation training for hospital staff, might get preferential treatment when it comes to clinical placements. A mutually beneficial relationship.

Vanessa particularly wanted to acknowledge the support of two awesome simulation techs. David Bomar from the IT department and Peter Delgadillo who came from the facilities side of the college and who now also drives the MSL. Vanessa reports that both gentlemen were reluctant to join the MSL team and neither had any medical knowledge or particular interest in simulation. But as often happens, Vanessa reports that both David and Peter quickly embraced the project and have become an integral and invaluable part of the team. “All together we are an awesome team, and we could not have been successful with the MSL without them”

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As we all know: “Behind every successful sim program, is a sim tech“!

Today’s article was guest authored by Kim Baily PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, Simulation Coordinator for Los Angeles Harbor College. Over the past 15 years Kim has developed and implemented several college simulation programs and currently chairs the Southern California Simulation Collaborative.

Learn more about Mobile Simulation Lab at Glendale Career College here!

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