Simulation - Dilawri Simulation Centre

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Region welcomes new Dilawri Simulation Centre

Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I’ll understand. – Chinese Proverb

Thanks to the support of the Dilawri Foundation and partners, such as the College of Medicine and the Hospitals of Regina Foundation, the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region’s (RQHR’s) new Dilawri Simulation Centre is open for business, giving both health care providers and students a chance to develop and hone their skills in a safe and realistic environment.

The centre, located at Regina General Hospital, officially opened Friday, June 8. The media event was attended by Minister of Health Dustin Duncan, RQHR president and CEO Dwight Nelson, Regina Qu’Appelle Regional Health Authority chairperson Lloyd Boutilier, Hospitals of Regina Foundation CEO Judy Davis, College of Medicine Dean Dr. Bill Albritton, and Dilawri Foundation’s Ajay Dilawri, as well as other representatives from the RQRHA board, HRF and Health Region.

Laureen Larson, director of Academic Health Services for the hospital, said the simulation centre was necessary to accommodate the increasing number of health science students completing their training in Regina. It will also provide great value to trained health care professionals already working within the Region. “We know, of course, that learning continues throughout our careers,” she said.

“One of our goals is to encourage training as a team, since that is how we work in our practice settings,” Larson said. “For example, a pediatric trauma may start in a rural setting, be stabilized there and then transferred by EMS to an intensive care unit in Regina. Our new technology allows us to rehearse the care and hand off at each step along the way.”

The simulation centre offers students a variety of methods and environments in which to learn. In some cases, learners will work with actors to practice skills required to work with patients in a clinic setting or when transferring an immobile patient from a bed to a stretcher. For other learning sessions they will work with part task trainers (simulated body parts) to practice specific skills. And, sometimes learners will work individually with state-of-the-art technology, such as the lacroscopic surgical trainers or 3D virtual reality training systems, to perfect key skills. However, the real stars of the show are the patient simulators.

First, there is Harvey, the cardiopulmonary patient simulator used to teach bedside cardiac assessment skills.

“He is incredibly, incredibly realistic in terms of what he does,” said Dr. Kish Lyster, medical director at the simulation centre. “This is exactly what it would look like, sound like and be like on a real person.”

Along with Harvey, the simulation centre is also home to a family of high-fidelity human patient simulators, including a man, woman, child, toddler, infant, and premature baby. The hightech, interactive mannequins can move, talk and replicate most conceivable medical situations that a health care professional might face in treating a real human patient, from an infection to a system failure. The female mannequin, Noelle, is even capable of simulating labour and birth.

The fully programmable mannequins are designed to respond to the treatment that is initiated so that students can see how their actions will directly affect the patient. Instructors can also adjust the mannequins to introduce new challenges mid-scenario. “When you adjust the physiological parameters, the mannequins’ response is what you’d see at the bedside,” Dr. Lyster explained.

The centre’s high-fidelity training rooms replicate actual hospital environments, and staff and students can examine X-rays, order lab tests and even contact the virtual doctor on call.

Above all, the centre offers a safe environment for staff and students to prepare for high-acuity, but relatively rare events, such as treating a trauma patient. In these high-stakes situations, there is no room for error. By practicing and refreshing their knowledge, health care professionals can be confident in their ability to step up to the challenge of any medical emergency.

Eventually, Larson said the goal is to have the simulation centre accessible 24/7 and to be able to deliver training to rural partners in their settings instead of asking them to travel into Regina to use the centre. A mannequin may even venture out to a ward within the hospital, so that teams can examine unit specific protocols and specific work environments.

The possibilities are endless, but the value is clear. “We think it’s going to change the face of education,” Larson said.

“We know that retention is much better in the face of engagement and interactive learning is far better than passive learning,” added Dr. Lyster. “This centre offers both of those opportunities.”

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