Sizzlin’ Summer Soliloquy Sung by a Simulation Specialist

Aaaaaand…we’re back!  After a summer full of fun and rest, our academic year has begun.  Welcome to new students and faculty; welcome back to our good ol’ friends.

The lab’s time this summer was split up between simulation sessions, special projects and reorganizing.  First-year Physician Assistant students were fortunate to be the first program to use our new SimMan 3G.  Cynthia and I brought him to the Alexander 07 lab for several assessment sessions.  We focused on pulses, eyes and auscultation (listening to heart, lung and belly sounds).  The students were fabulously fun to work with: so great, in fact, that I let them name the new simulator.  Say hello to Gene and the students who named him:

PA students feel the pulses on SimMan 3G ("Gene")

MSNA students came to lab for their capstone simulation experience: Crisis Resource Management (CRM).  They participated in several intense operating room scenarios with our METI simulator.  Each student gets their turn putting METI to sleep and adapting to a variety of emergencies.  These scenarios always stand out for me because the MSNA faculty put forth a lot of energy into creating a realistic case: the lab is filled with multiple actors and lots of equipment.  It was great to have them come to lab.

MSNA student care for patient while surgeon prepares to cut.

Amongst cleaning and organizing our many rooms, two projects came to fruition: doors and air!  Our two original simulation rooms (Blewett 116 and 117) now connect directly into our debriefing room (Blewett 107).  This will keep the learning environment contiguous and allow students to share their initial reactions to a scenario.  Additionally, it will allow equipment to be easily moved between rooms (the doors are extra wide).  The benefit for me, however, is that I can now see sunlight in my office.

Though, it goes through three windows and has to travel 100 feet.

So it’s not that bright.

Still, I can see trees!

Door from 116 to 107, with Gene and METI.

As for the air project, Facilities was kind enough to set up an air compressor in the basement that feeds to the gas room.  Our two METI simulators suck up a lot of air when they are running.  For the past 7 years, the lab has been paying to rent and lease canisters to provide this air.  But now we get it for free!  Yippee!

Finally, in the first week of August, I was lucky enough to travel to Las Vegas for the first annual Gathering of Technicians (GOT), a conference focused on the technical side of all things simulation.  The conference was hosted by the University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV) and their entire staff was absolutely delightful.  The facility at UNLV is fantastic and, thankfully, air conditioned.

Capt. Wilkinson speaks to the crowd of 85 simulation technical staff.

We had two very full days of workshops and lectures.  Topics included moulage (the “making up” of wounds and physical props), video technology and vendor-specific training.  My favorite session, though, was the talk by Captain Steven Wilkinson.  A former airline pilot trainer, the Captain taught us a few lessons about how simulation came about in the airline industry.  The success of making simulation a natural part of a pilot’s training and continued certification, is an inspiration to me.  Medical simulation will most likely follow the same route, where standards are set for simulated work time before board certification and during one’s career.  It’s very exciting to think about the places we will be going!

Ryan rocks the apron while preparing a bloody emesis (AKA vomit) at GOT.

Here’s to another exciting year at UNE CSP!  See you soon!

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