NORTH HAVEN — Quinnipiac University’s Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences provides students with a simulated hospital experience that allows them to gain practical skills.
The simulation lab, located in the nursing school, includes several hospital rooms as well as a space for students and instructors to debrief. The hospital rooms and manikins were recently on full display for Healthcare Simulation Week, which included facsimile pediatric patients and premature babies.
Several of the manikins in the simulation lab are of the highest quality, costing about $85,000, according to Darlene Rogers, director of laboratory and simulation operations.
Students take different roles, giving everyone a chance to experience hospital procedures from different points of view. Professors in an adjacent control room are able to voice and control different aspects of the manikin.
“When we go through the clinical scenario, we’ll have one person who is like the patient’s family member, one of the students will be the nurse, another will be the doctor,” said nursing student Alicia Ricci. “We all play different roles so we know what to do and what to expect in a scenario.”
According to Rogers, manikins and simulation in medicine became popularized in the early 2000s.
“At the time it was really nursing that was using the manikins,” she said. “Now it’s really evolved, over these past ten years especially, to start including different professions.”
Professors may stop a scenario at any point to provide instruction. After scenarios have been completed, students and professors get together to discuss.
“In healthcare, communication is everything,” said Rogers. “The most important skill in these rooms is communication and verbalization and that’s what we’re doing here.”
Simulation director Liana Kappus called the simulation lab “the batting cage for healthcare.”
“This is a place where they can take risks,” she said. “We can challenge them at the edge of their learning curve, they can challenge themselves and they can make mistakes.”