The “patient” is a life-size mannequin that inhales, exhales, has a heartbeat, groans, responds to medications and does just about everything else an actual patient does in response to treatment. The mannequin’s sole purpose is to provide training opportunities simulating surgery, anesthesiology, child birth and other medical events so these procedures can be performed professionally and without incident when a living patient is involved.
This human simulator is one of 13 mannequins used to train doctors, nurses, first-responders, medical and nursing students and other health-care professionals who will provide medical care for thousands of Hoosiers each year.
The training takes place at the Fairbanks Hall Simulation Center at 340 W. 10th Street, Indianapolis. The center is a collaborative effort between Clarian Health and the IU School of Medicine and IU School of Nursing.
An open house for The Simulation Center at Fairbanks Hall will be from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12.
“We practice here today so we aren’t practicing on you tomorrow,” said Scott Engum, M.D., an associate professor of surgery at the IU School of Medicine and director of the simulation center.
The center is the only training facility in the state equipped to offer interdisciplinary training to health-care professionals and other medical personnel, students and residents. The facility is available for use by other hospitals and medical corporations as well as Clarian Health and Indiana University.
“The simulation center is about Clarian, Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University School of Nursing’s commitment to patient safety and quality,” said Daniel F. Evans Jr., president and CEO of Clarian Health. “Importantly, it will not be used just by students, but by current physicians, nurses and health care professionals for their continuing education in the most up-to-date technologies.”
“The IU School of Nursing is pleased to be able to play an integral part in the new simulation center. This center provides a wonderful setting for our students to learn and work alongside other health-care professionals in a rich learning environment. Using advanced simulated education practices, students will be better prepared to deal with the real-life, complex challenges patients and families face in today’s health-care system,” said Marion E. Broome, Ph.D., R.N., dean and Distinguished Professor of the IU School of Nursing.
The Simulation Center at Fairbanks Hall, which cost $11.4 million to build and equip, is a 30,000-square-foot facility with the latest in technology and 11 employees.
The fourth-floor suite houses a hospital operating room, emergency room, obstetrical/neonatology suite, intensive care room and a multi-purpose area that can be adapted to the education needs of the particular day. Telemetry in each of the five hospital rooms, one obstetrics/neonate suite and the ICU is identical to what is found in hospitals. There is an electronic drug delivery system so pharmacy students, nurses and doctors in training can experience the process of requesting, retrieving and delivering medications to the “patients.”
Around the corner from the simulation center’s hospital sits the business end of a decommissioned ambulance. The truck was hoisted onto the fourth floor before the building was completely enclosed. The ambulance provides training for first responders.
Down the hall is a skills training area for use by Clarian nurses, IU nursing and medical students, phlebotomists and other medical personnel who need to perfect a skill such as starting an IV, placing a central line for drug delivery, introducing a breathing tube into a patient’s airway and other skilled procedures.
Outside the simulated hospital is the Clinical Skills Education Center with the latest in audio and visual technology to enhance learning. In this area, students participate with patient-actors in real-life situations to assess the student’s diagnostic skills and bedside manner. The process is observed, recorded and evaluated by faculty. For a virtual look at a student’s experience in Skills Education Center, see medicine.iu.edu/body.cfm?id=836.
“The Fairbanks Hall education facility is a national model for multi-disciplinary training for health care professionals,” said D. Craig Brater, M.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine. “Our goal was to be able to provide top level training to our students and medical professionals to enhance the quality of care provided to patients in Indiana.”