What is Medical Simulation?

Medical simulation provides learners at all levels of medical training to experiences that replicate real-life situations.  The simulated experience may be a simple task that provides repetitive practice of an invasive skill such as suturing or starting an IV line; or it can be a complex scenario involving multiple medical team members to resolve complex situations that can include decision making skills as well as the administration of treatment.  Recent advances in technology have produced many life-like pieces of equipment that are now a standard component of medical education.

What kind of equipment is available?

The Clinical Skills Center has a fully equipped simulation lab.  The centerpiece of the lab is high fidelity human mannequins.  These mannequins provide physiologically accurate responses to any treatments given to them.  They have the ability to breathe, bleed, talk, and even give birth.  They can have a variety of procedures done to them including being intubated, having catheter placement, or receiving cardioversion.  The mannequins are available in adult, pediatric, and infant models. 

Also available are virtual reality simulators for teaching the advanced skills of laparoscopic surgery, endoscopy, and operation of the daVinci surgical robot.  These extremely advanced machines use computer graphics combined with realistic surgical equipment to provide learners with very realistic surgical experiences.

There are also a full array of task trainers available for teaching and practicing a wide variety of skills and procedures.  These trainers include a Harvey Heart Sounds simulator and SAMII auscultation simulators, as well as a variety of tools for teaching airway maintenance, prostate exam, pelvic exam, sonogram skills, venipuncture, line placement, breast exam, and many others.

Why Use Simulation?

Medical simulation helps to improve safety within patient care. Current and future health care professionals have the opportunity to practice and improve their skills in a safe learning environment before they are required to perform those tasks in the real-world setting.  Multiple studies have validated the use of simulation as a valuable tool in medical education.

Who can use Simulation?

The Clinical Skills Center is available to any department or program at LSU Health Shreveport. The staff is available to assist with equipment selection, set-up, and training on any of the equipment.  For the high fidelity simulators case-based simulations can be developed and implemented to fit the needs of individual departments.  High fidelity simulation is applicable to a wide variety of disciplines including; surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, trauma, critical care, pediatrics, neonatology, and emergency medicine, to name a few. Communication exercises are designed to build teams and improve team communications during stressful events.  All scenarios can be captured with full video and audio recording capabilities so that they can be critiqued or de-briefed at another time.  The recording capability also allows for simulation cases to be used for summative assessment activities.