Health Team

WakeMed simulation program helps keep physicians sharp

Posted July 1, 2009 5:40 p.m. EDT
Updated July 1, 2009 6:34 p.m. EDT

— A new patient simulation lab at WakeMed aims to help physicians, nurses and caregivers hone their medical and communication skills.

The environment is designed to mimic a real emergency situation. A computer programmed mannequin acts as the patient. It can bleed, cry, breathe and die.

“These mannequins that they have here seem to be as real as you can get without being the real person,” said Travis Scott, an EMS supervisor in Johnston County, who recently experienced the simulation.

A nearby control room records every action and decision. Every participant can see the event played back on a secure Web site.

The area is the first phase of the SIM Lab project to create different clinical environments for practice purposes.

“It feels like, it looks like, it behaves like a critical care area, an EMS area,” said Amar Patel, WakeMed SIM Lab manager.

Simulation labs are mostly found at university hospitals.

WakeMed's simulation program is one of the largest hospital based programs in the country and has trained more than 3,000 clinical care providers.