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Fair to highlight simulation opportunities for health-care education

The future of health-care education will be on display Thursday when The University of Toledo hosts a Simulation Fair.

The event, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 22 in Collier Building Room 0202 on Health Science Campus, will celebrate the University’s new Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center and the latest in simulation technology to train tomorrow’s health-care professionals.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. for the center’s newly dedicated 12,000-square-foot space in the Collier Building, and demonstrations of state-of-the-art simulation models will be at 12:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

“The Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center is going to be an innovative place where we think differently about teaching and learning with the ultimate goal to better patient care,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, Health Science Campus provost, executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine. “We are creating a safe place for students to learn and practice without the fear of harming patients. This technology allows for more hands-on and detailed training that can only lead to better health care.”

While using simulation is not uncommon in health-care education, it is mostly used in specific areas such as surgery or internal medicine. UT’s interdisciplinary efforts with students studying all aspects of patient care working together with this technology is what sets it apart, said Dr. Pamela Boyers, senior adviser to the provost for the advancement of interprofessional education and executive director of the Center for Clinical Simulation

“We want them working and learning together, the nurse, doctor, pharmacist and others, so they don’t come together for the first time at the bed of a real patient,” she said. “The interprofessional experiences in this center will make them more comfortable working as a team to treat patients the best way possible, which will be valuable when they move on and do so in hospitals and other settings.”

Practicing health-care professionals also will be able to use the center to hone their skills, Boyers said.

The new space for the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center will expand the collaborative and interdisciplinary education and research already under way, Boyers said. Ultimately, the goal is to have a dedicated space twice this size that will include the more extensive immersion simulation options available and also allow additional opportunities for the University to partner with industry.

The University already has begun growing its simulation technology, and three new patient simulators will be welcomed to campus at the Simulation Fair. These patient simulators breathe, cry, speak, react to drugs and more so students can learn and practice both procedures and communication skills.

Advanced tools the University hopes to add in the future also will be on display at the event, such as a CAD wall, which is a three-dimensional projection model that uses real patient scans that can be magnified to the cellular level and rotated for in-depth analysis.

The field of simulation also has advanced recently to include a Computer Automated Virtual Environment, or CAVE, that can put people in a four- or six-sided room that depicts a virtual environment, such as an operating room, for safe practice of almost any situation.