St. Luke’s un­veils mo­bile sim­u­la­tion lab

The Morning Call - - BUSINESS CYCLE -

St. Luke’s Sim­u­la­tion Cen­ter has cus­tomized a 2020 Freight­liner M2 truck to serve as a mo­bile train­ing unit.

The 34-foot-long truck, called the Sim­u­la­tion in Mo­tion Med­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Lab, will bring train­ing ses­sions to net­work cam­puses and sites, al­low­ing staff to prac­tice hands-on skills with state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy in a re­al­is­tic and safe en­vi­ron­ment, ac­cord­ing to Megan Au­gus­tine, di­rec­tor of St. Luke’s Sim­u­la­tion Cen­ter.

The cen­ter­piece of the blue-and-yel­low truck, em­bla­zoned with the St. Luke’s star, is a life-size hu­man sim­u­la­tor that can cough, bleed, sweat, cry and speak a few words on its own.

The sim­u­la­tor can be pro­grammed to dis­play a host of med­i­cal con­di­tions, in­clud­ing fevers, seizures, high blood pres­sure, low pulse rates and rapid heart­beats. As part of the train­ing, staff can sim­u­late draw­ing blood, ad­min­is­ter­ing oxy­gen and IV flu­ids and use a de­fib­ril­la­tor.

St. Luke’s has a sim­u­la­tion cen­ter with lo­ca­tions at sev­eral sites where physi­cians, nurses, med­i­cal and nurs­ing stu­dents and other clinical staff can work on skills with a sim­u­la­tor, de­vices such as IV arms and in­jec­tion pads as well as stan­dard­ized pa­tients — peo­ple hired to por­tray pa­tients. Non­clin­i­cal staff can prac­tice in­ter­act­ing with pa­tients in var­i­ous sce­nar­ios linked to their du­ties.

That cen­ter has been a suc­cess for St. Luke’s, go­ing from train­ing 3,792 staff mem­bers in 2014, the year it opened, and to more than 12,000 in 2018, Au­gus­tine said. But, she said, it was dif­fi­cult to bring train­ing to the net­work’s ru­ral cam­puses. “We have the equip­ment, the sup­plies and staff, but we didn’t have the space,” she said. “We can do that on the truck.”

The mo­bile sim­u­la­tion truck fea­tures a sim­u­lated room where the sim­u­la­tor, dressed in grey slacks and a hoodie, is prone on a stretcher. It has a skills sta­tion where staff can prac­tice be­fore work­ing on the sim­u­la­tor. The room is equipped with two 42-inch mon­i­tors that dis­play vi­tal signs, benches for stor­ing med­i­cal sup­plies, an AED, and oxy­gen and IV lines.

The truck also has a con­trol room with com­put­ers where Sim­u­la­tion Cen­ter staff, wear­ing a head­set and mi­cro­phone, can con­trol the sim­u­la­tor and even lend a voice to it. The truck has a cam­era and mi­cro­phone for record­ing ses­sions for sub­se­quent re­view and de­brief­ing. It also has a cab with seat­ing for two and can run on a gen­er­a­tor or elec­tri­cal hookup.

In the event of a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter or emer­gency, Au­gus­tine said, the truck can be con­verted into a live treat­ment cen­ter.

Au­gus­tine said the Sim­u­la­tion Cen­ter will start sched­ul­ing ses­sions in Au­gust.


St. Luke’s Sim­u­la­tion Cen­ter has cus­tomized a 2020 Freight­liner M2 truck to serve as a mo­bile train­ing unit.

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