South Florida Hospital News
Friday October 30, 2020
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February 2016 - Volume 12 - Issue 8
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Students, Patients and Community to Benefit from Expansion of International Academy for Clinical Simulation and Research

One of the best ways to learn anything is to practice, and this is especially true for students in the health care field. In addition to working in a clinical setting to gain the hands-on training that they need to care for patients, simulation training can provide them with opportunities to further enhance what they’ve learned and in some cases, to experience situations that they may not have faced before. 

To this end, the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Miami, which has been a destination center for simulation immersion since 2006, will be undertaking a major expansion of its International Academy for Clinical Simulation and Research. The school recently broke ground on a five-story, 41,000-square-foot facility that will replicate the flow of activity in a clinical practice and hospital, from the emergency department to the operating room to patient rooms to discharge. It will also include hospice care beds and an apartment setting, allowing for hospice and home health transition scenarios.
 
“Simulation provides a way for our students to transfer knowledge from the simulation to the real clinical setting, and learn from their mistakes, with the result of increasing patient safety in the real world,” explained Dean Nilda Peragallo Montano, DrPH, RN, FAAN. “Our students give rave reviews to simulation training as a teaching mechanism that allows them to learn and build confidence without putting patients at risk, to connect didactic learning to real-life situations, and to practice their professional communication skills.” 

The hospital will cover the full lifespan of patients, with human actors playing standardized patients, patients’ friends and family members. Students will work with extremely lifelike human patient simulators that can talk and make noises, have babies or heart attacks, exhibit vital signs and perform most human bodily functions. 
 
“Clinical practice experiences are a necessary and valued component of health care education, but the clinical practice setting is unforgiving,” said Peragallo Montano. “For ethical reasons, and to avoid risking the safety of real patients, there are scenarios that cannot be deliberately created in real life; however, these scenarios can be simulated to facilitate our students’ experiencing them. Similarly, there are procedures which students are not allowed to perform on live patients that can, again, be facilitated for them in the simulation encounter.” The center will also be used for disaster rehearsal protocols.
 
The center will also benefit students in that in addition to being able to practice real-world situations, they will be interacting with a variety of interprofessional health care personnel, including nurses and physicians, just as they would at a real hospital. “For years, students in health care have been educated in ‘silos,’ when they actually practice in integrated teams,” said Peragallo Montano. “When our graduates enter the real world of nursing care, the environment will seem very familiar.”
 
In addition to nursing, public health and health science students, the center will also provide continuing education and recertification opportunities for a wide variety of health care professionals, and serve as a beta test site for new health care products, and research-based development of safety protocols. “The simulation hospital will be a resource for the school, for the University of Miami as a whole, and for the national and international health care community,” said Peragallo Montano.
 
The projected completion date for the center is March 2017 and students will begin using it in summer.

 For more information, visit www.miami.edu/sonhs/index.php/simulation_hospital or call (305) 284-2107.

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