Spring’s Simulations

April 30th, 2012 by cmorris

As the semester comes to a close, there has been a buzz of activity here at CSP. Students taking a variety of courses in the nursing program have taken advantage of the opportunity to hone their skills by practicing caring for patients in the simulation labs.

Medical surgical nursing students have cared for a variety of patients and have been beta testing Lippincott’s new Docucare Electronic Health Record.

"Marilyn Hughes" (aka 3G) awaits the arrival of nursing students.

Students taking a health education course were given teaching assignments. Community members were kind enough to volunteer to be the client who would benefit from working with a nurse educator.

An actor from the community volunteered to help nursing students practice their teaching skills.

Nursing students taking an assessment course were recorded as they performed a head to toe assessment. The recordings were placed on Blackboard (UNE’s Web-based Learning Platform) so that the students could review and evaluate their performance.

Nursing students in the simulation labs demonstrating their head-to-toe assessment skills.

Sophomore nursing students were introduced to simulation. Each student had the chance to feel pulses, count respirations and take the blood pressure of one of two mannequins (SimMan Classic or Gaumard’s Susie).

Susie joined SimMan Classic on the Biddeford campus to meet with sophomore nursing students.

Nurse Anesthesia students continued to practice induction and emergence during open practice lab time and designated simlab skills labs.

MSNA students practice "emergence" with their post-op patient.

Physical Therapy student teams practiced working with a client with mobility issues. Also pictured below is a team of PT students who came to the sim lab to take photos for a Physical Therapy skills textbook.

Physical Therapy student photo shoot.

PT faculty member plays the role of a client so students can practice their skills.

Technical Notes from the Wizard…

April 21st, 2011 by reling

…Of Oz!  Get it?  “The man behind the curtain!”

Anywho, this month’s tech-focused blog post deals with four little pieces that have been of note during the month of April.  Enjoy!


An exciting little project: removal of a METI HPS head.  The HPS being used in our simulated operating room has a very messed up face: a tear from the corner of his mouth, some stains and lots of general grime.  While it is still under warranty (just a few more weeks…no renewal possible for this old unit), I decided to get his face replaced.  This requires a trip to Sarasota, FL and some tender care from METI Customer Support.

Ryan performs a decapitation on a METI HPS.

While I was a little apprehensive before starting the task, it turned out to be fairly simple.  All the tubes have quick-release connections and are clearly labeled at both ends: esophagus, bronchi, eye control, etc.  The only trick was disconnecting his spine: I got a tip from METI’s Ben Walker to detach the spine at the base of the skull, not the neck.  I did need to hunt around campus for the correct size allen wrench; thanks a bunch to Elaine and the good folks in ITS.  Then, with time and patience (the close quarters only allow for about 120 degrees rotation before you have to reseat the wrench), I was able to perform a successful Mortal Kombat finishing move.  Get Over Here!

Ryan poses with the liberated cranium.

Control Room

One of the joys of being the technical head of the simulation program here at UNE is the opportunity to reassess our operations and then go about refining our lab’s systems.  For the past year, I have felt frustration with the layout of the control rooms; in particular, the control room that doubles as my office.

It gets crowded easily in here.

The difficulty comes with the multi-function nature of the space: sometimes it is just an office where I program, cut video and eat lunch; other times it is chock full of people running a scenario (myself, faculty, actors, etc).  When being shared by multiple people, we are constantly getting in each others’ way: a beverage blocks the mouse I need to use, I have to squeeze past someone to get a microphone, everyone’s backpacks/purses are tripped over.  So I wanted to figure out a way to consolidate my systems and create a separation of “tech space” and “guest space.”

Luckily I had the time to rearrange my multiple computer systems and the money to purchase a wall mount for a monitor.  By moving stuff up and over, I was able to make my technician space and a public space clearly defined.  Now, bags can go under the desktop or on the hooks mounted on the wall and faculty notes can be organized on top.

Ah, much better. Cleanup creates space for our guests to occupy and Ryan can now run all systems from the far end.


For UNE’s Annual Spring Symposium, CSP was called on to help create and record several video vignettes relating to veterans’ health issues.  One of the vignettes focused on a soldier with an IED-related arm injury.  Cynthia and I needed to doctor the actor’s arm up for the videotaping, but did not want to spend a long time on the project.  We chose to use a Laerdal rubber burn skin:

Does this gross you out? It grosses my wife out.

Intended for use on our SimMan, this piece easily slipped onto the actor’s hand.  We then wrapped the rubber hand and the actor’s forearm in gauze, securing everything in place and adding that clinical touch.  Here it is in action:

Uh, you might wanna have someone look at that...


Lastly, exciting news!  We received approval to purchase SimMan 3G a month or so ago (which I believe Cynthia mentioned previously on these pages) but we have now learned that he is on his way!  While offering all the features of our current SimMan, 3G has several unique additions, the most obvious being his lack of wires…we get to go mobile with our adult simulation scenarios.  3G also brings a simple, quick to set up fluid system to our program: he’ll bleed, cry, foam at the mouth and sweat at the drop of a hat.  Look for an upcoming announcement of Mr. 3G’s welcoming party!

That’s all from the desk of the Wizard!

Delightful December

December 16th, 2010 by cmorris

December has been an active month in the simulation labs. Fundamentals of Nursing students returned for their third and fourth sessions in the sim lab. During session three the students were assigned a patient and were charged with administering medications. Students know the importance of  following the guidelines for safe administration of drugs using the Five Rights (right patient, dose, route, drug and time). They appreciated the opportunity to practice this important skill. During session four, SimMan served as the patient for a NSG 201 (second year) student who demonstrated how to perform a head-to-toe assessment. Students then practiced their skills on live “patients” (second year student vounteers) and were observed and evaluated by faculty.

Ryan’s enthusiasm and creativity are proving to be quite an asset to our program. He is adept at discovering ways to improve our processes and has a talent for trouble shooting the many little technical issues that can crop up. We are especially pleased that our CSP server is now housing podcasts on custom blogs. Using this familiar platform makes a very user friendly site for students to access videos of simulations. Next we want students to be able access our server from off campus and Ryan has initiated the process to allow this to happen!

Ryan at work


Social Work in Practice Students were in the simulation labs for their first experience. Members of Shelley Cohen Konrad’s class had an excellent introduction to the benefits of practicing interview skills in the lab setting.  An actor played the role of a homeless person who was dealing with a difficult diagnosis. Two students interviewed the “client” while the rest of the class observed via video feed. During the debriefing session students reacted to their experience and received feedback from fellow students and the client actor.

“Everyone has to try this, it was a very valuable learning experience.”

Greeting the Client

Simulation Prezi

Cynthia has offered to meet with faculty from all of the health professions disciplines on the Westbrook College Campus (WCC) and recently was invited to speak about “Simulation Opportunities” in nursing. The faculty of the Nursing Department are proponents of simulation and continue to develop plans for  further integration of this teaching modality into nursing courses.

During this December faculty development session, participants were given an overview of the program and the many possibilites for utilizing simulation to prepare nursing students. There was extended discussion related to development of interprofessional opportunities for students at UNE. Faculty are looking at developing connections with colleagues from other health professions on the WCC.

Cynthia has also presented at an Occupational Therapy faculty meeting and looks forward to invitations from other departments who are interested in a Clinical Simulation Program update.

Lisa Lambert poses with Nursing Anne

Nursing Anne is one of our medium fidelity simulators who was reintroduced to the Nursing faculty at  their December faculty development workshop. Nursing 101 faculty are enthusiastic about using Nursing Anne for their students as they prepare for their first rotations in the hospital setting. They will use her to hone their auscultation skills and will practice urinary catheterization during open lab times in January.

THis patient is complaining of chest pain.

Fifty-two Medical Surgical second-year nursing students were in the simulation labs at various times throughout the semester. They cared for patients with a variety of clinical issues and were enthusiastic about their experiences.

“This was a wonderful learning exsperience. I completely enjoyed everything and realize the value of sim. :-)”

“Today was an awesome learning experience!”

“More sim :-)”

Good to go!

We’ll be back in January. In the meantime, Happy Holidays to you all!

Simmering Summer

August 31st, 2010 by cmorris

It has been a busy summer here. A few of the highlights below.

Hybrid Simulation

The Nurse Anesthesia Program students had the opportunity to assimilate the concepts and theories related to crisis resource management and gain an understanding of the thought processes and approaches to managing crisis situations in anesthesia during their July summer sim sessions. Each student had the opportunity to experience and manage a crisis situation that could occur in the operating room setting.

New Windows!

Construction Zone

This summer Blewett 241, 242 and 107 have been a construction site as Blewett Hall has undergone a facelift. New windows have been installed and today, this massive project is nearly complete. Despite the construction activity, we were able to conduct our business with little interruption and appreciate the positive impact that our new energy efficient windows will have on our environment.

Special Visitors

Ryan and Cynthia welcomed special visitors from India, Dr. M.S. Moodithaya and Dr. S.Y. Kulkarni, for a tour of the Clinical Simulation Program simulation labs. Professor Kaushik (KASH) Dutta has developed a relationship between these delegates from Nitte University and UNE and is exploring potential partnerships in multiple areas.

Discovering High Fidelity Simulation

The Blewett 107 Summer Project

Ryan has been busy this summer learning and tweaking the many systems that he is responsible for. One project of note was upgrading the audio video system in our Blewett 107 debriefing classroom.

Our simulation family welcomes a visiting simulator “Bodyless Bob.” He is the first of many dental simulators that will be acquired as part of a dental education program sponsored by UNE and generously supported by TD Bank, The Betterment Fund and Bangor Savings Bank. The program is aimed at helping young people learn about dental careers.

Jessica Gellar, RDH, Lionel Vachon, DDS and Ryan Eling learning about the new simulator

Pediatric Hal went on a summer vacation, of sorts. We sent him to Florida for repairs and we welcome him back along with returning faculty and students. We are all anticipating another busy fall here in the clinical simulation labs and look forward to collaborating with our creative faculty to develop new and exciting simulation experiences for our health professions students. Welcome back all!

Congratulations and Welcome!

June 11th, 2010 by njandreau

Thank you Todd!

Wishing Todd Well

Very best wishes to our sim pioneer Todd, as he embarks on his new simulation adventure.  He leaves us with a firm foundation on which our Clinical Simulation Program (CSP) can continue to grow.  Since MMC’s new simulation center is just around the corner, it’s a good thing that we don’t really have to say “good-bye.” We look forward to continued MMC/UNE collaborations.

New Job New Baby

Welcome to Ryan Eling who is our new Operations Manager/Simulation Specialist and, as of May 27th, a Dad for the second time too! New to the simulation world, Ryan is excited about the challenges that lie ahead and we are delighted to have him on board.

We’ll be back soon with more CSP happenings, updates and simulation news.

Wishing a pleasant summer to all.

Cynthia Morris

Simulation Educator/Program Coordinator