Canadian-Based Western University Launches New Healthcare Simulation Suite

Western's new robots offer nursing students life-like medical experience

Canadian-based Western University Gazette recently shared about the new Western’s Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing program simulation suite! Looking to get similar attention to your healthcare simulation program? Read our comprehensive Media guide!

The new simulation suite in the recently opened FIMS and Nursing building and has been in the works for years. The faculty’s first simulation suite opened in 2005, according to Barbara Sinclair, coordinator for simulated clinical education at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing. “You can’t just send students in after giving them a little bit of theory and a little bit of lab practice and expect that they’re going to be able to provide care for people,” Sinclair said. “Things are just far too complex.”

The new simulation suite is much larger than its predecessor with 16 hospital beds. Sinclair said students learn a variety skills from the simulation set up that go beyond the teachings of a textbook as they work on communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving.


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Nursing student Sachia Grogran recalled hearing patients scream “I can’t breathe, I’m going to die,” during the simulations. “It teaches you how to handle real life situations in a safe environment,” Grogan said. The robotic patients within the simulation hospital have a variety of illnesses and backstories that make each of them unique. “They get to understand the trajectory of chronic illness,” Sinclair said. “We looked at what the common things were that we were seeing — things like diabetes, stroke and lung disease; we wanted to get a good cross section of things students would see.”

In addition to the robotic patients, 50 per cent of the time students in the lab work with standardized patients who are played by actors. The actors have prepared stories, case histories and personality types which Sinclair said adds a different level of realism.

Read the full article: Western’s new robots offer nursing students life-like medical experience


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Hibbing Nursing Students Go Beyond Books and Train in New $1M Healthcare Simulation Center

Hibbing Nursing Students Go Beyond the Books, Train in Simulation CenterAnother article showcasing how the media can cover your simulation program! Read our tutorial on how to gather such public attention for your simulation program here!

Nursing students at the Hibbing Community College (HCC) are stepping out of the classroom, into a realistic hospital room setting and learning how to treat patients in life and death situations. The newly remodeled HCC Healthcare Simulation Center opened this semester and is transforming the way students train. The state-of-the art simulation allows the students to go beyond the book and gain real-life experience that comes without the risk of working on real people.

“Students can come in and practice clinical with patients from birth all the way up to death, and they can do it in a safe environment,” explained Sandy Gustafson, nursing program director at HCC. “They can actually do the hands-on care in critical or unusual situations that they wouldn’t get in a facility that’s in a rural area.” The mannequins talk, breath, blink, cough, puke and bleed like a real human would. One of the female robots even gives birth.

“We can assess them in a way that’s different than just learning from a book because we’re just pretending there,” said Brandy Mass, a first-year nursing student. “If you don’t have that experience behind you with the simulation, then you risk the chance of freezing or not knowing what to do or drawing a blank,” said Ashton Martin, a first-year nursing student. “This prevents us from feeling that nervousness.”