The two new suites in the Advanced Medical Simulation Center (AMC) provide the latest technology for students and residents, including a wireless simulator manikin for the obstetrics and gynecology suite and anesthetic gases and a control room for the new operating suite.

Nurse Barbara Parks observes students as they train in one of the two new suites in the Advanced Medical Simulation Center. Dale Davis, center coordinator of the AMC, says that “training is the key to patient safety.” Included is a wireless simulator manikin for the OB/GYN suite and anesthetic gases and control room for the new operating suite.
“Training is the key to patient safety, and these rooms provide a realistic environment for training,” says Dale Davis, center coordinator of the AMC — the central point of advanced medical simulation for all educational efforts, research and event recreation. “The suites really give you the feel of a hospital setting, and it gives health-care providers the opportunity to learn, practice and master techniques for patient care.”

The new obstetrics and gynecology suite enables health-care workers and students to duplicate problem births and simulate high-risk deliveries and gynecologic surgeries. Surgical technicians, nurses and others can join anesthesiologists in the training.

The stars of the simulation center are the patients — high fidelity, life-sized robotic patients that can speak, breathe, move their eyes and have variable heart and pulse rates, among other features. Each patient simulator can mimic common ailments and symptoms, and they can be programmed to react to medication, receive intravenous therapy, go into cardiac arrest and expire.

All rooms have a patient simulator so that students and residents can train in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators.

The patient simulators possess the wow factor for the facility, but Mike Moran, nurse manager in the Department of Resuscitation, says there is more to simulation than performing a task on a manikin.

“Most of us who work here have been here a while, and when we came up through nursing school or medical school, the idea of simulation was basically task training,” Moran says.

“It was doing things like putting an IV in a dummy arm. There’s much more to simulation now. Much of it hinges around communication skills and critical thinking during the simulation. It better prepares caregivers for the way it’s going to be in a real operating room.”

Oversight techniques, including full video and audio recording for practice sessions, give students, residents and trainees an immediate opportunity to review their treatment techniques in the debriefing room. It gives them a chance to assess areas of success and failure and identify areas in which they need to improve — both in technique or communication.

“We can create scenarios that students, residents and trainees can expect to encounter in real life, and they have the opportunity to review every step in detail,” Davis says.

Any hospital department can create and schedule a class for students, residents and trainees.

“Our ultimate goal is to make all simulations interdisciplinary with physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and anesthesiologists working to create that safe-patient culture and environment,” Moran says.

The simulation center also is available to host a wide range of workshops. The Emergency Department and the UAB Police Department are preparing to offer a workshop on handling violent patients for emergency department workers, for example.

The simulation center is located in the former medical intensive-care unit on the third floor of Quarterback Tower and directed by Martha Farley, Department of Resuscitation educator. Call 996-5817 to schedule a class or for more information.