Just announced on Ohio.com, The University of Akron and Summa Health Systems have launched one of the first Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialist Associate degrees — What a great day for Simulation!
Ohio.com Article Excerpt:
The University of Akron is among the first — and perhaps only — colleges nationwide offering a new associate degree for people who want to run health care simulation training. UA is joining with Summa Health System to offer a new major that combines basic medical knowledge with the technology skills needed to run training scenarios for current and future doctors, nurses, paramedics and others in health care.
Beginning in the spring, students will be able to get a two-year degree from UA in “health care simulation technology.” The program will prepare students to serve as simulation technologists, who program the realistic mannequins, medical equipment and other technology used in mock medical scenarios and emergency response training scenarios, said S. Scott Atkinson, Summa’s simulation manager.
Because formal training in simulation technology is rare, he said, centers typically recruit people with an IT or medical background and provide training for the missing skills. “There’s no formal education process to actually educate the people,” he said. “We saw the need for an actual program.” Pam Jeffries, past president of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, said she’s not aware of any other associate degree programs for health care simulation technology, though a few certificate and master’s level simulation programs exist.
“I think it is a good contribution to the education within the health professions,” said Jeffries, a professor of nursing and dean of nursing at George Washington University. “With today’s needs and the escalation and growth of simulation, I think it is important.” Simulation training allows students and professionals to practice their skills in a realistic environment before facing similar situations in real life with real patients.
Participants will get hands-on experience running scenarios in Summa’s simulation training suite, which includes an area where instructors can observe the students. Summa received a $750,000 state grant to build its recently opened simulation center and the training suite. Students also will spend time observing simulation operations at the University of Akron, Akron General Medical Center, the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron and Northeast Ohio Medical University’s standardized patient lab, where actors portray patients.