Canadian Simulationists Breathe Life Into Training Manikins

Simulationists breathe life into training manikins

The press coverage of healthcare simulation continues to catch the public’s attention at facilities across the world! Recently this awesome article covered the work of Canadian-based Fanshawe College nursing simulations, and the connection to Ontario’s SIM-One group:

Fanshawe nursing students work with a simulator to hook up a colonoscopy bag. Christine Link sits inside a small room with two-way glass, watching a young woman in the classroom beyond. The nursing student seems unsure what to do with an elderly male patient in the bed in front of her. She lingers by the supply cart, as if looking for something. Link speaks through a microphone, which comes out of the manikin as a scratchy, old-man’s voice. She is playing the role of George, a grumpy senior with a respiratory condition. “Get me a drink of water,” commands Link. George has dirty tissues filled with fake mucus scattered around him. As the student fetches a cup, Link explains that she is waiting for the perfect teaching moment. “I would have the student hold it up to my mouth, and that’s when I’d cough.”

Link is one of a growing number of simulation experts working in medical, paramedic and nursing programs across the country. “Health care has really come a long way in how we teach and present material,” she says. “No longer are we injecting into an orange.” Link, who graduated from the practical nursing program at Fanshawe College in 2007, returned to the Ontario school as a part-time lab technician the following year. After stints as an instructor, in 2013 she became the simulation technologist, now responsible for running 15 manikins.

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At SIM-one in Toronto, a non-profit, national networking, training and R&D organization with 1,700 members involved in health-care simulation, CEO Timothy Willett says every college and university in the country has adopted the technique. In Ontario alone, 78 different programs and labs are using a total of 1,236 manikins and thousands more simulation tools.

SIM-one offers several online and in-person courses, including the brand-new 12-week Simulation Scenario Writing, Roleplay Theatre and Simulation Wizardry. They also train experienced simulationists to run their own courses, and each year about 15 to 20 are certified as simulation educators after they have completed three courses at a total cost of about $2,000. “As far as I know, there’s no kind of college programs you can go to with the intent of getting into that role,” says Willett.

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Ontario’s SIMone 2016 October Sim Expo Agenda Revealed!

sim expo 2016

Spots are filling up quickly for Canada’s premier healthcare simulation conference — Half, one and 2-day rates are available. Don’t miss the Opening Reception on October 5. This Industry-Sponsored Reception will feature Dr. Nicole Harder as a keynote speaker. Happy to share with you the great lineup of interactive workshops and agenda for the 2016 SIM Expo taking place on October 5-7 at the Intercontinental Toronto Centre Hotel.

The conference is packed with something for everyone. Don’t miss:

  • Virtual Simulation Showcase
  • Simulation in Action
  • Simulation Awards Presentation
  • Networking Events & Opportunities
  • Industry-Sponsored Reception
  • Edu-Gaming Den
  • Poster & Video Crawl
  • Interactive Workshops & many more!

About SIM-one

SIM-one is a not-for-profit organization that connects the simulation community, facilities, and resources. SIM-one advocates for and advances simulated learning in health professions education for the benefit of patient care and safety. SIM-one offers advanced educational training and online services that are open to simulationists and health professionals across the globe.

View the full 2016 SimONE program here!

Master Simulation Skills with SIM-one’s Certified Education Program

Whether you’re a simulation novice or expert, SIM-one’s certificate programs and breadth of courses in simulation-based education can help you master the concepts of the field and advance your career in healthcare simulation. Learn about all of SIM-one’s certificate programs and course offerings below.

Mastering the Artistic Side of Clinical Simulation certificate program

Mastering the Artistic Side of Clinical Simulation (MASCS) focuses on the creative and psychological elements that bring simulations to life, enhancing fidelity, and increasing learner engagement. MASCS introduces the use of best practices and techniques for enhancing health professions education.

MASCS is designed to help mentor and support participants in developing a career in the exciting field of healthcare simulation. The experience and learning are grounded in networking and collaboration. Connections made within this program will be nurtured to further develop practice within the broad simulation community.

sim-one-Sabrina Boucher-and-Bruce-Ballon

Sabrina Boucher of La Cité collégiale (left) is the first-ever MASCS graduate. On the right is Dr. Bruce Ballon, director of education, SIM-one.


Students of the MASCS program were encouraged to be creative in a reflection submission. Above is Louise Moir’s submission, submitted with the traditional reflection paper.

Keystones of Healthcare Simulation certificate program

The Keystones of Healthcare Simulation is designed for those who are interested in a more immersive experience in healthcare simulation. This program supports participants in developing their careers as simulationists in roles such as educators, leaders, scholars, and faculty developers. As with MASCS, the Keystones experience is grounded in networking and collaboration.


2014 “Keystonians” (From top L to R: Lisa Kakonge, Leigh Andrews, Alicia Stewart, Anne Marie Renzoni, Gladys Mokaya, and Dr. Bruce Ballon. From bottom L to R: Luba Komar, Raya Gal, Donna Rampersad, and Lan McMillan).

“The Keystones is a program that helped me put perspective and knowledge together to make a very challenging learning environment a very rewarding and successful means to an end. I would highly recommend this program as it is very comprehensive and ‘hands on’ in its approach. The people that run this program have all the knowledge, direction and passion to help every health professional (regardless of which field) succeed in their own institutions.” – Dr. Dominic Giuliano, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC)

SIM-one’s courses in simulation

What are the essential elements of simulation? What are the imagination and psychological principles behind all simulations? How do you create the best possible scenarios? Their experts and leading simulation and healthcare education researchers will equip you with the knowledge and tools during discussions, interactive exercises, and group breakout sessions.

SIM-one’s courses are typically offered as two-day, in-person intensives, using an online flipped approach or a blend of the two.

Popular SIM-one courses include:

  • Briefing, Debriefing, and Facilitating a Simulation – Mastering the art of briefing, debriefing, and facilitation for a successful simulation.
  • Introduction to Simulation: The Essentials of Simulation-Based Learning – An accredited, two-day intensive introductory course that teaches the essential elements of a simulation.
  • e-Xplorers of Simulation – An introduction to using e-simulation and e-blended learning for enhancing clinical teaching and healthcare education.
  • SIMaginarium: The Imagination Behind Simulation – Examining the use of imagination and psychological principles that underpin all aspects of simulation.
  • SIM Research Primer – The perfect introduction to the world of research into simulation-based education and healthcare quality improvement.


Active listening during Briefing, Debriefing, and Facilitating a Simulation two-day course (November 13, 2015)

“e-Xplorers was a great eye-opener to how simulation can be adapted to e-learning needs.”

“The course was creative and fun. It was a great opportunity to work with colleagues on the activities that we can do together in teaching and facilitating.” (SIMaginaium)

“The course identified key aspects to simulation/medical education research that would not be apparent to a clinical researcher.” (SIM Research Primer)

All educators, health professionals, and individuals interested in learning more about simulation and/or becoming a simulation educator are welcome. Be sure to check their website for upcoming simulation-based courses and the full list of SIM-one’s course offerings.

About SIM-one

SIM-one is a not-for-profit organization that connects the simulation community, facilities, and resources across Canada and beyond. SIM-one advocates for and advances simulated learning in health professions education for the benefit of patient care and safety. Supported in part by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), SIM-one offers advanced educational training and online services that are open to simulationists and health professionals across the globe.

Learn about all these great programs at SIM-one’s website today!

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Canadian SIM-one Announces December’s Sim Expo Speakers & Agenda for 2015 Event!

sim one 2015

SimONE recently announced their 2015 conference speakers – Dr. Teresa Gore, president of International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation & Learning (INACSL), and Dr. Teodore Grantcharov, Canada Research Chair (CIHR-funded) in simulation and surgical safety. These two simulation experts are revolutionizing the field of simulation and will open day one and day two, respectively, of the expo.


Here is a list of just some of the workshop sessions you can attend at SIM Expo 2015:

  • Integrating Simulation Modalities to Enhance Team Responsiveness to Acute Deterioration in the Elderly
  • Compassion in the Face of Distress: Integrating Simulation and Therapy Techniques to Facilitate Emotional Regulation in Interprofessional Care
  • Frameworks in guiding general debriefing and in debriefing simulation with interprofessional skills objectives
  • A Beginners Guide to Debriefing
  • Strategies for the integration of Electronic Health Record/Informatics into health professions curriculum
  • 12 Hour Nightshift Simulation Event: Intraprofessional to Interprofessional learning events and lessons learned
  • Multimedia in simulation: building it in light of how human mind works
  • Increasing the use of simulation in preparing BScN students in the management of chronic disease
  • Integrating Simulation with Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Competencies
  • Budget Conscious Integration of Simulation into Existing Spaces
  • Improvisation for Simulationists
  • SimuCafe Conversation Circles


  • Multimedia in simulation: Building it in Light of How Human Mind Works
  • Integrating Simulation with Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Competencies
  • Interprofessional Education: Debriefing Team Competencies in a Large Scale Trauma Simulation


Ontario Based SIM-one Provides Upcoming Course in ‘Simulation Research: Best Practices for Planning a Research Study’


This has been a week for upcoming simulation courses and workshop announcements. It makes us happy to think that five years ago there was only a handful of courses every year around the world to train clinical educators in the process of medical simulation, now there is a course a week! This latest training program is an ONLINE course that you can take from anywhere on getting into Simulation Research.

Simulation Research: Best Practices for Planning a Research Study is facilitated and led by leading simulation and health care education researchers across Ontario. Facilitators will coach course participants through the process of building a research study based on their research question or interest. They will provide guidance on practical issues such as method planning, grant applications, knowledge mobilization planning, and team building.

Wed, September 30 to Wed, November 18
Hosted Online
Course Fee: $495 CAN

This eight-week course includes video-recorded lectures, interactive live webinars with expert researchers, and review & questions periods. It complements the Simulation Research: Primer introductory course.

Who will benefit?

Have a defined research question or hypothesis, but not sure how to begin planning your study? Or, completed theSimulation Research: Primer course and looking for more information? Then this course is for you.

What will I learn?

  • Tips & tools for building research questions into concrete research study plans
  • Guidance on developing a research study, including creating a study design (qualitative & quantitative methods planning)
  • Choosing and validating the right measurement tools
  • Knowledge mobilization planning
  • Guidance on applying for simulation research grant proposal(s)
  • How to build a strong research team

Learning outcomes & benefits

Participants will become familiar with the core concepts for planning a research study, including:

  • Steps to investigate a simulation research question
  • Creating and critiquing a research study method/protocol
  • Documenting a research study protocol and knowledge mobilization plan
  • Identifying human and physical resources necessary to complete a research study
  • Drafting a grant application

Learn more about this and other SIM-one courses at their website today!

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SIM-one Promotes #IntegrateSIM Twitter Competition To Showcase Simulation Program Improvements

simulation on twitter

Timothy Willett MD, MMeD, (@SIMtim_oneDirector of Research & Development at the SIM-one Ontario Simulation Network wrote in today to share about “a twitter competition to learn how simulationists are moving beyond simply adopting/adding sim to meaningfully and deliberately integrating it into curricula and safety/QI processes.”

How do you #IntegrateSIM?

SIM-one wants to hear how you integrate simulation into your curriculum, clinical placement, quality improvement or patient safety practices. Let us know and you can win* a FREE ticket to this year’s #SIMexpo. *(The prize includes a free two-day admission ticket to the 2015 Ontario Simulation Exposition, but does not include travel or accommodation expenses. One entry per person. Odds of receiving the prize depend on the number of entries received.)

How to Play

Simply tweet how you integrate SIM and include #IntegrateSIM. Photos, videos & links are encouraged for your submission. The recipient will be announced on July 15, 2015. All eligible entries will be entered into a draw. Contest closes on June 30, 2015.


The recipient will receive one two-day admission* to the 2015 Ontario Simulation Exposition—Canada’s largest healthcare simulation event. The 2015 SIM Expo will be held on December 14 & 15 at the InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel in downtown Toronto. View more details on the 2015 SIM Expo.

Updates and additional info will be posted @WelcometoSIMone. Make sure to follow SIM-one and include the hashtag #IntegrateSIM

Visit Sim-One.Ca for the complete competition guidelines and to learn more about the 2015 SIM Expo!

Ontario Based ‘SIM-one’ Provides Simulation Resources

ontario simulation

SIM-one—the Ontario Simulation Network—is a not-for-profit organization that connects the simulation community, facilities, resources and services across the Province of Ontario. SIM-one provides valuable services to the simulation community, including education and training, research grants, the SIM-one Provincial Equipment Coordination Service (SPECS), and popular events like the annual Ontario Simulation Exposition. Fully supported by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC), SIM-one’s vision is to further position Ontario as the global leader in healthcare simulation.

Sim-one is not just for simulation users in Ontario, or even just Canada, but instead provides resources to the global healthcare simulation community. Check out their:

Although SIM-one is a non-profit organization, they are considered an international support group which also provides resources for business innovators within the simulation space.  Speaking of innovative projects, learn more about their SPECS program which stands for The SIM-one Provincial Equipment Coordination Service.  This project is a province-wide simulation equipment coordination service that effectively links Ontario’s simulation centres and programs. SPECS ensures the strategic management of Ontario’s investments in health professions simulation, in the Province’s community colleges and public universities, and in the clinical setting. This Service will bring about greater sustainability, paving the way for more cost-efficient access to simulated learning in the health professions and—ultimately—higher quality patient care and patient safety in Ontario.

What an amazing way to provide collaborative access and shared depreciation costs and purchasing power for simulation-based equipment! This depreciation concern is something we all need to think about for ‘technology refresh cycles’, which I covered during HealthySimAdmin. Clearly, SIM-one has become an innovative leader in the international medical simulation community, and I encourage you to explore partnerships, training and resources with them further by visiting their website:


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Canadian Simulation Summit Conference

Kimberley Ross, CAE wrote us to share the 2012 Simulation Summit taking place November 17th & 18th in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. 

Canada Medical Simulation Conference

The Royal College invites all health care professionals to experience the latest innovations in simulation-focused learning, research and practice at the 2012 Simulation Summit. This year’s event will explore the theme “I2 Innovation & Integration.”

Participants at the 2012 summit will:

  • Learn about advances in simulation-based education;
  • Be exposed to new technologies and novel approaches to education using simulation;
  • Understand how to fully integrate simulation across the education spectrum, including in curricular design, assessment and program evaluation for systematic change.

For more information, please follow this link: