Tag Archives: sim tech

Preparing for a Simulation

Written on January 29, 2015 at 9:33 am, by

Simulation with a SimJunior ManikinLearners often like simulations because they are hands on experiential learning, and they’re not necessarily pre-programmed. Simulations are dynamic, and just about anything can happen.

At the end of a simulation, we want the learners to have had a positive experience, even if they did everything wrong. Their confidence should be raised, and they’ll be more prepared for the next time they take part in a simulation.

For facilitators, they should walk away feeling that the simulation met or exceeded their expectations, and that the learners did very well.

And, at the end of a good simulation, the simulation specialists that were working behind the scenes setting up and operating the manikins or other technology in the room, want to walk away smiling… thank goodness there were no glitches!

What Just Happened?!

Alternatively, what we don’t want happening is everyone walking away wondering what just happened. There are many risk factors involved with running a simulation.

Some of them can be caused by human error. For example, the equipment may not have been checked to see if it’s charged, the room may have been set up incorrectly, or the facilitator may not be familiar with the scenario.

Human factors are easier to plan for and avoid than technical risk factors. Any kind of equipment can malfunction, including manikins and cameras. These are much more difficult to anticipate, which is why simulation specialists need to be prepared for anything.

Being Prepared

When preparing for a simulation, don’t forget the obvious equipment. Know what you need to have before you actually need it.

Reviewing the curriculum at least a month in advance is crucial. It should highlight all of the supplies necessary, and also give you a chance to ask and clarify details and discrepancies long before the actual simulation.

At Jump, everyone is held to the same extensive curriculum process. This creates the consistency necessary for the ultimate learning experience. We have standardized templates to obtain all of the necessary information.

Before a simulation is even scheduled, it has to initially be reviewed by our curriculum director. If it passes the initial review, it is forwarded to the curriculum committee and simulation technicians, who both review it. Only after full approval can the simulation be scheduled.

To ensure that our facilitators and instructors are properly prepared for simulations, they must go through a training course. The course has a strong focus on learning objectives and explaining how to properly debrief learners’ post-sim.

Remember: the earlier you setup for a simulation, the better off you are. The more time you have to go through system checks, the more time you have to ensure that everything is working and setup properly.

Diversifying Learner Opportunities With SimJunior

Written on December 2, 2014 at 9:40 am, by

Any medical professional will tell you that kids are different. The medical treatment of a child is completely different from the treatment of an adult patient – for example, most medications are weight based, their vitals are different and tend to rapidly change, and some children are too small to communicate where or why they hurt. Simply stated, there are many specific factors at play when treating babies and children.

At Jump, we are focused on improving patient care across the board. With the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria acting as a teaching liaison, Jump is marrying the resources of our state-of-the-art simulation center to create opportunities for more advanced curriculum with Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

The manikins at Jump are great learning tools, and are designed to provide the closest experience possible to treating a live person. Traditional patient care manikins, like Laerdal’s Mega Code Kid have been used for years to train students with because they are reliable, affordable and provide a great way to keep proficiencies up when using task based scenarios. Recently, the gold standard for pediatric patient care is moving towards patient simulators, such as Laerdal’s SimJunior.


SimJuniorSimJunior is a high-fidelity 6-year-old child with many features that allows the facilitators who manifest pediatric curriculum to really ramp up the realism. Some of the features of SimJunior are realistic chest rise and fall (breathing), stomach distention, changing lung sounds, heart tones, the ability to go into a seizure, and other life-like interactions including vocal responses. Unlike most patient care manikins, the simulation specialist can also control SimJunior, wirelessly. This adds a whole new layer to simulation.

For example, an EMS simulation may call for a patient to be taken from their house to an ambulance. This could not actually be done within the scenario if the manikin was hardwired to the crew delivering the simulation.

This capability is so important to the quality of the simulation that many patient care manikins are integrating the wireless technology similar to Laerdal’s SimPad. Furthermore, SimJunior gives us the means to deliver high quality in situ Simulations in the Hospital.

In situ is Latin for “in its original place,” meaning we take the simulation to the appropriate hospital unit. In most in situ simulations, leaners work as a team to reverse the declining vital signs of the young patient.

This is typically a surprise to the treatment teams arriving bedside, and having such a life-like manikin increases the realism of the event. This allows for the members of the treatment team to immerse themselves in the scenario at hand and treat the manikin as though he is a real 6-year-old boy in seizure, septic shock or respiratory arrest.

Introducing a New SimJunior Model

Dark Skin Toned SimJuniorA recent exciting acquisition that we are beginning to use in simulation is Laerdal’s dark skin toned model of SimJunior. In addition to having the same life-like features as the light skin toned model of SimJunior, he provides facilitators the option to create curriculum featuring conditions that are more common among the nation’s African American population, such as health complications related to sickle cell anemia.

This capability further highlights for the learners not only the differences in treating pediatric patients, but also the differences in treating racially diverse patients. This is a great new adjunct for expanding curriculum throughout OSF HealthCare.

Understanding and utilizing SimJunior’s high fidelity features is something we pride ourselves on at Jump. We believe that working with facilitators to create realistic simulations of medical problems suffered by pediatric patients will encourage care providers to apply lessons learned from their simulation experience on the real life patients they treat and thus improve the level of care those patients receive.