The Simulation Lab Acclimates Learners to the Sights, Sounds, and even Smells of Clinical Practice
For practicing pharmacists, the professional standard requires participation in simulated practice each year to sharpen their bedside manner, as well as their pharmaceutical knowledge.
It is equally important for pharmacy learners to partake in a similar simulated experience prior to working with actual patients. The Western New England University College of Pharmacy has acquired the latest technology to introduce our learners to the fast-paced environment of clinical care.
The simulation room in the $40 million Center for Sciences and Pharmacy has been outfitted with a technology-mediated mannequin, as well as the corresponding computer program to control the mannequin's functions.
The 165-lb "Sim Man," as he is nick-named, can display almost any ailment or bodily function, including experiencing heart failure, bleeding, and vomiting. He reacts physiologically to treatment and can talk to pharmacy students through a microphone controlled by a professor.
Students don't get a generic com-puter generated response if they ask how the patient is doing. Patients can react in a variety of ways. Here, our learners get real experiences that may catch them off guard, just like in a real healthcare setting.
An important feature in the room is a camera that captures and records what happens during the simulation. There is also an observation room outfitted with a two-way mirror for fellow learners to watch a simulation in progress. These means that learning occurs after the simulation in de-briefing, rather than during it. This enables learners to see and learn about what they did well or what they did wrong and assess what they need to work on.
The lab staff endeavors to make the mannequin appear as realistic as possible. This can be achieved through Hollywood-style makeup and a book of "recipes" to create wounds and even replicate the various smells in a hospital setting. The more realistic it appears, the more learners begin to treat it like a real patient.