Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is joining institutions across the nation in celebrating the fourth annual Health Care Simulation Week, September 16-20. Health care simulation is a learning tool that recreates a clinical environment to allow for experiencing realistic health care situations.

“Our simulation lab is always the most popular stop on every tour,” said Kristen Hager, BS, NREMT-P, manager of the LMU-DCOM Center for Simulation and Training. “It is also one of the most utilized spaces on campus because students of all health professions, including DO, PA, nursing, veterinary medicine and even social work students train in the simulated environments.”

The rooms within the simulation lab and clinical exam center are staged with patient belongings and at times standardized patients, or actors, are used to replicate a real-world experience. The crying mother, the irate nurse and the aggressive family member are all encountered in a real environment and are introduced within simulation experiences to better equip the student for real world possibilities.

“When students enter the simulation lab every effort is made to create a realistic experience,” Hager said. “Everything in the room is functional and works like the real health care environment, from the oxygen on the wall to the monitor that is attached to the patient. If an X-ray, CT or lab value is needed, the student can press the monitor to see the results as the scenario progresses.”

Each simulation lab is equipped with a control room behind a one-way observation window. From the control room, faculty and staff can present and manipulate the patient’s objective findings to arrive at a proper diagnosis. Using technology, staff can replicate heart arrhythmias, advantageous lung sounds, difficult intubation, abnormal bowel sounds, active bleeding and body secretions, among a host of other clinical findings.

LMU-DCOM’s newest simulation lab is in the College of Veterinary Medicine building located on the LMU main campus in Harrogate, and consists of four simulation rooms and two debriefing rooms.