NRGH simulation lab helps medical residents, students gain valuable skills

Sim lab helps residents and student gain valuable skills.

The patient coughs and then his breathing becomes laboured.

Medical professionals have little time to assess the situation and implement a course of action.

Dr. Oscar Casiro, regional associate dean of the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine, inserts a breathing tube for the bag-valve-mask while paramedic Bob Penhale monitors the patient’s pulse and Dr. Simon Moore assesses the patient’s overall condition.

Quick decisions are necessary to save the patient’s life. It can be intense and clear communication, teamwork and strong decision-making are vital for patient survival.

This patient, however, is a mannequin. It’s lifelike and can talk, bleed, breathe, blink, have a pulse and transmit electrical rhythms to a cardiac monitor.

The doll is powered by wireless technology and is one of the newest learning tools helping to educate medical residents and students at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Simulations occur in the Human Factors Laboratory, which resembles an acute-care setting and is part of a new state-of-the art academic learning space unveiled by the Vancouver Island Health Authority Wednesday.

The space includes the simulation laboratory, as well as seminar and video-conferencing rooms.

The lab’s mannequin is controlled by an operator in a booth to simulate various medical conditions for procedures and surgeries. It enables participants to study everyday situations or rare events they might only encounter once in a career.

Simulations are intended to improve leadership, teamwork, communication, complex-decision making and situational awareness in a high stress environment.

Dr. Martin Dawes, UBC department head of family practice, said simulation is a critical ingredient in learning and situations in the lab can become real and valuable learning experiences.

“This is an intense experience, the sweat is literally pouring off you and the people behind in the booth are making things get worse and worse and worse,” said Dawes. “The simulation disappears … and becomes real and the patient in front of you is reacting in ways you can’t predict, they’re exploding body fluids in horrible sorts of ways and you’re surrounded by peers … who have contributions to make.”

The scenario is an important tool to recognize the contributions team members can make regardless of their profession and how their comments can be “vital to saving the patient’s life”.

“This will undoubtedly lead to improvements of quality of lives in patients and it will save lives as well,” said Dawes.

Moore, who is in the UBC Family Practice Residency Training Program, said nothing matches a simulator for learning how to communicate with colleagues – it helps people work as a team and gain confidence and competency.

“If we’re going to work together, why not learn together and simulation allows that to happen,” said Moore.  “At the end of day, that is going to benefit the citizens in Nanaimo and in British Columbia as well.”

The Ministry of Health invested $2.3 million, which funded renovations and the creation of the seminar and video-conferencing rooms. The Human Factors Lab cost approximately $200,000 and was funded by the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation’s contribution of $35,000 and the UBC Family Practice Program.

The 5,660-square-foot space, located in the former operating suite location, will be used by medical residents, students and faculty members.

The video conferencing capabilities enables Nanaimo to connect to other teaching locations across the Island and B.C. It will be used for physician training for UBC’s Island Medical Program and the Nanaimo site for the UBC Family Practice Residency Training Program.

Since the Nanaimo program was established in 2007, 98 physicians have graduated through it.

Just Posted

V.I. Raiders build ‘team environment’ at main camp

Nanaimo-based junior football team held camp this past weekend in Parksville

B.C. Ferries crew member’s medical emergency causes cancellations

One sailing from Horseshoe Bay and one sailing from Departure Bay cancelled Monday

Nanaimo Highland dancers ‘reel’ successful at nationals

Brigadoon dancers competed in Moncton, N.B., earlier this month

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Protection from spills falls short

Letter writer can’t imagine bringing bitumen oil to our ‘salmon sea’

Pirates have a chance to win pennant

Mid Island Pirates sweep Langley Blaze, four midweek games remain

Nanaimo tubber sets all-time record at bathtub race

Justin Lofstrom completes course in fastest-ever time

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Surrey court clerk files human rights complaint related to concussion

Deborah A. Ryane claims her employer discriminated against her on basis of mental disability

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read