Simulation Center offers realistic training
Story by Marsha Huffman, BAMC, Public Affairs Intern
Published July 19, 2012
Photos by Marsha Huffman
Capt. Micheal Clemens, general surgery resident, practices on the laboratory virtual simulator in the simulation center at San Antonio Military Medical Center. The center offers simulation labs made to replicate the operating room, intensive care unit, ward, and trauma rooms.
Air Force Lt. Col. Daniel Walker, SAMMC pathologist and Cpt. Rebecca Flores, radiologist resident, practice on a mannequin in a simulated trauma scenario at San Antonio Military Medical Center Simulation Center. Walker and Flores will both receive Advance Cardiac Life Support certification after their course completion.
San Antonio Military Medical Center Medical Simulation Center provides the most state-of-the-art and realistic training possible through the use of medical simulation.
The new center, which was relocated from the portable buildings outside of the medical center, is a 2,000-square-foot facility located on the second floor of the new tower. The facility consists of six simulation labs made to replicate the operating room, intensive care unit, ward, and trauma rooms elsewhere in SAMMC.
The center also provides convenient simulator access for healthcare providers, nurses, and medical students by placing "simulators in various clinics throughout the hospital," said Robert Coffman, Simulation Center administrator. "These clinics include the Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Intensive Care, Neurology, and Surgical," he added.
With an eight-member staff, the program offers training for both staff as well as the health providers who are going through their medical training.
"I'm proud of our staff we have here because they believe in what we do and teach," said Coffman.
"The facility offers clinical skills to individuals through the use of medical simulations. We welcome all medical students, service members, doctors, nurses and anyone who may be interested in this training," he said. "The student will practice medical situations parallel to that of real-life scenarios enhancing their training expertise while ensuring the safety of patients."
Each lab offers full audio and visual capabilities to hear, see, and record all that goes on during the simulation scenario. To add to the experience, the instructor can be in the control suite with the simulation operator, so trainees can sharpen their skills throughout the scenario or test without interruption from the instructor or operator. Debriefing can be performed immediately following the training with AV playback and time stamping.
"Military medicine is changing the way we do business to improve the safety of patients and by offering this service (SIM center) we are ahead of schedule," said Lt. Col. Rhonda Deen, BAMC Simulation Center medical director.
The training prepares an individual to handle patient crisis, military situations, and life-threatening emergencies before they are put in real-life situations.
"Practicing on a simulator will help prepare you to feel more self-confident and comfortable before you are put in an environment with real patients," said Coffman.
In some cases, simulation actors, who take on the role of a patient, can also be used. As a result, students gain confidence in diagnosing and caring for patients, ensuring the control of infections, enhancing communication and teamwork skills.
"We absolutely love to see the light bulb go off in someone's head when they fully understand what they're doing and why we are here," said Deen.
The Simulation Center also supports Graduate Medical Education by offering certifications in both Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
For more information, please call the Simulation Center at 210-916-9318 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday – Friday.