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CSU, Chico News

Simulation Center Open House Celebrates Seven Years of Service to Students, Community

Date: 09-27-2013

Sarah Langford
Becky Damazo, Director
Rural Clinical Simulation Center

The Rural Northern California Simulation Center, a medical skills training center for local doctors, nurses and students, will celebrate seven years of service to the community at an open house Oct. 7.

Founded in 2006 by the California State University, Chico School of Nursing in partnership with Enloe Medical Center, Feather River Hospital and Oroville Hospital, the Rural SimCenter provides teams of medical professionals and students with an environment in which to develop critical-care skills using computer-controlled mannequins and volunteers. The open house celebration, slated for 4 to 7 p.m., will feature tours of the center, demonstrations of new equipment and an unveiling of future plans.

Located in Enloe Medical Center’s Cohasset Campus at 560 Cohasset Road, the facility houses seven mock patient rooms, adult and pediatric human patient simulators, two birthing simulators and three infant simulators. The SimCenter also features a fully equipped nursing station, a control room for running multiple scenarios simultaneously, and integrated audio/visual equipment to digitally record and review simulations.

Scenarios of many different health events and conditions can be practiced and refined with no harm or inconvenience to real patients. Simulation is perfect for providing nurses and others with the opportunity to work with critical events that may be seen rarely in actual practice but which require extensive training and practice to develop efficient responses.

The lifelike mannequins can be given medications, resuscitated and have procedures performed on them. They can also be programmed to change their breathing and heart rates on cue along with other physical changes as well as programmed for many different emergency situations.

The actions of the team are recorded, and participants review the tapes to “debrief” so they can identify how performance can be improved. Much like the use of simulators for training pilots to respond to critical events, simulation is becoming a standard for the training of health care personnel.

In 2010, the center received accreditation in teaching and education from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Only 10 centers worldwide were selected by the society to undergo accreditation that year.

“Simulation education is important for both beginners and experts,” said Rural SimCenter Director Becky Damazo. “The novice student can gain confidence and ‘muscle memory’ for skill development. The expert can improve team communication, avoid task-fixation and participate in the growing number of new technologies from virtual reality to robotics—all without risk or harm to patients.”

“We started with a small space and a few training scenarios and with limited equipment and have grown into an exemplary simulation center,” she added.

To learn more about the Rural SimCenter, visit www.csuchico.edu/nurs/SimCenter.