For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Simulation in Healthcare Week, featuring food trucks, to be held Sept. 18-22 at UND

The medical simulation teams at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) and College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines (CNPD) are celebrating Simulation in Healthcare Week 2023 with a series of events Sept. 18-22, including open houses for both programs’ medical simulation facilities on the UND campus.

The largest and most active center of its kind in North Dakota, the SMHS Simulation Center is a hands-on simulation training facility for multidisciplinary healthcare providers. The high-fidelity space provides learners with two unique medical settings: a clinical setting, where students train with standardized human patients who have been trained in the art of behaving and responding like a medical patient; and a hospital setting where students explore hospital- or emergency room-based scenarios (such as childbirth or intensive care) with robotic “manikins” replacing human patients.

Likewise, the CNPD simulation space provides a variety of simulated learning experiences for nursing, nutrition & dietetics, social work, and graduate-level students. The simulation space houses low, medium, and high-fidelity manikins, which simulate everything from an infant struggling to breathe to a mother giving birth, and an adult having a heart attack. The space also houses skill lab spaces, allowing future providers to practice their technical skills. Through simulation, students experience realistic clinical experiences such as emergency response to behavioral health concerns and acute medical conditions. Simulation provides students with opportunities to learn in a safe practice environment, increasing their confidence while giving them the skills and knowledge needed to be successful practitioners.

This week’s full roster of public activities include:

Sept. 18  |  10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – UND Memorial Union

  • Simulation display with a “live” manikin

Sept. 19  |  11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences

  • Simulation Center Tours
  • Simulation in Motion – North Dakota Mobile sim truck open house (north side of SMHS building)
  • Area food trucks, featuring the vendors Little Bangkok and Skip’s Gourmet

Sept. 21 | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. – UND College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines

  • Simulation Space Tours
  • Happy Camper truck

“Simulation is a powerful learning tool, and we get our first-year medical students, physician assistant students, and physical and occupational therapy students into the Simulation Center almost immediately,” said SMHS Simulation Center Director Dr. Jon Allen, noting that the Center’s manikins are remarkably life-like in that they can talk, cry, breathe, and bleed. “This training prepares students to work with actual human patients once they reach the clinical phase of their training. We hear from many of our medical grads that when they enter a residency they’re often ahead of their peers in hands-on medical training. That’s thanks in part to this Center.”

Healthcare Simulation Week, sponsored by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), celebrates professionals who use healthcare simulation to improve the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of healthcare delivery. New methods and technologies are emerging that present opportunities to improve patient care.

“Simulation gets students out of the ‘classroom’ and into the practice setting,” added Nursing Simulation Director Ellen Steidl, who noted that students are never graded on their performance in simulation, but rather their engagement and willingness to learn. “Students can learn and make mistakes in a realistic, but low-stakes practice environment. Simulation is such a great opportunity for our students and the technology is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the changing healthcare environment.”

All events are free and open to the public. Follow on social media for giveaway opportunities: @UNDSimulationCenter, @sim.northdakota, and @UNDCNPD.