March 14, 2019By Lance Baily

Mayo Clinic Moulage Video Shares the Art of Making Simulated Patients Real, Plus Upcoming Instructor Courses!

Amy Lannen, Simulation Center Operations Specialist at the Medical Education Simulation Center at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville was recently featured in the video shared below where she spoke on the artistic work of creating more realistic patient presentations in medical simulation through the use of moulage. As we all know, moulage is the art of applying mock injuries or other symptoms with makeup for the training of military, emergency and medical professionals. Here, Mayo Clinic’s Jason Howland reports on this useful skill of makeup application that provides realistic training at Mayo Clinic. Following this, we share more about Mayo Clinic’s multiple Simulation Centers and upcoming Instructor courses for 2019.

Amy Lannen holds a BA in psychology and religion and is currently an Operations Specialist in the Multidisciplinary Simulation Center at Mayo Clinic Florida. Ms. Lannen is responsible for the Center’s standardized patient program, course execution and logistics, and application of her talents as a moulage artist. Ms. Lannen is known for her ability to create, implement, and support Standardized Patient training and education. She is a key player in Mayo Clinic’s annual mass casualty drills through planning and execution of complex moulage and SP preparation. Ms. Lannen is a student of applied improvisation in medicine and is an active contributor to Education efforts at Mayo Clinic. Her skill and passion for moulage is clear in the video interview below!

In his article Using moulage makeup for medical training, Jason Howland reports “People are always curious when they open my moulage cabinet in the back, and they see cocoa powder [and] Jell-O,” says Amy Lannen, who works at the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Simulation Center on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. “And they’re, like, ‘What are you doing here?’ And I actually have to write the words ‘do not eat’ on a lot of my stuff.” “I train actors, and I do special effects makeup,” she says. “Moulage is art. It’s the art of making something look realistic — even though it’s not actually happening. So we can make someone look like they have a gash on their forehead or a black eye — even though they’re not in any actual pain.”


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The authenticity of the moulage makeup is important. “If you walk into a room and you say, ‘Hey, learner, the person in the room has a bruise on their face,’ saying that versus that learner walking into the room and actually seeing a bruise on the person’s face has a totally different impact on that learner,” Lannen says. “If they walk in and they see a bruise, their brain processes it. They believe it, and they can treat it in a way that feels natural to them rather than trying to remember fake symptoms.”

About Mayo Clinic Simulation Centers

The Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Centers are dedicated to improving clinical learning and patient care and reducing patient risk through the use of new technologies coupled with realistic medical scenarios and educational debriefings. The simulation centers offer state-of-the-art devices and training modules that allow learners to practice specific diagnostic and surgical techniques. Several types of training are available and can be incorporated into different medical scenarios or events. Mayo Clinic educators collaborate with simulation center education specialists to determine learning objectives and develop curriculum, then work closely with teams at each campus to deliver simulation education to their learners. Three main methods of training include:


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  • High-fidelity training: Lifelike situations are used to suspend disbelief and allow learners to practice procedural and decision-making skills in a safe environment. Life-size patient manikins, trained medical actors, and a range of medical equipment can be used to conduct training in areas such as patient resuscitation and assessment, and interpersonal team communication.
  • Task training: Learners are given the chance to focus on key elements of a task or skill at their own level. Special trainers are available to enhance skills used in laparoscopic surgery, airway management, vascular procedures and more.
  • Virtual reality training: Learners interact with a synthetic (virtual) environment displayed on a computer screen or through special or stereoscopic displays. Some simulations include additional sensory information, such as sound provided through speakers or headphones or tactile feedback built into the software. Virtual reality can be used for advanced training in complex medical procedures, such as carotid stent placement or other minimally invasive surgeries or procedures.

Mayo’s Simulation Centers cross three locations including the Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Center in Arizona, the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Simulation Center in Jacksonville, Florida and the Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Center in Minnesota. All of which offer medicine fellowships in one and two-year speciality training opportunities!

Upcoming Mayo Clinic Courses

Ongoing courses in the Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Centers facilitate faculty development and curriculum design, implementation and execution.

  • Simulation Instructor Development: Comprehensive Course (Rochester, Minnesota June 5-7, 2019 and Sept. 16-18, 2019 or Phoenix, Arizona Feb. 13-15, 2019):  This three-day multidisciplinary interactive course will develop instructors for simulation-based education. Participants learn the principles of experiential learning, including types of simulation, course design, and debriefing strategies. Learners practice these concepts with the assistance of experienced faculty. Enrollment is limited to encourage maximum engagement of all attendees. This course is designed for individuals interested in or involved with simulation curriculum design, implementation, and facilitation.
  • Simulation Instructor Development: Debriefing Beyond Basics (Rochester, Minnesota April 2, 2019): This advanced debriefing course will address the needs of simulation facilitators who are interested in improving their debriefing skills. Using a combination of interactive and immersive group work, this session will focus on enriching facilitation skills of the debriefers and provide an opportunity to reflect on their own practices for better educational outcomes. Enrollment is limited to encourage discussion between attendees. Learners will: demonstrate understanding of fundamental concepts of simulation-based education, develop performance objectives for simulation-based education, create and facilitate a learner-focused simulation scenario for a multidisciplinary audience, and lead an effective and organized debrief session.
  • Simulation Instructor Development: Basic Course (Rochester, Minnesota on April 8, 2019 & Oct. 14, 2019): This one-day course will provide an introduction to simulation-based education. Topics covered include: Simulation terminology, planning a simulation course, writing scenarios, and debriefing. Enrollment is limited to encourage discussion between attendees. This course is designed for individuals of any discipline interested in using simulation for education, assessment, research, or systems improvement. Learners will: Explain fundamental concepts of simulation-based education, describe elements for well-designed simulation-based education to achieve outcomes, develop performance objectives for a simulation experience, define debriefing and the goals of debriefing, and demonstrate skills of a facilitator during debriefing.

(Photo Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network.)

Learn more about the Mayo Clinic Simulation Centers & Courses!


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