Advanced simulation center at LDS Hospital will help local medical personnel gain experience

Posted at 9:43 PM, Aug 29, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY – They say practice makes perfect, and a new simulation center at LDS Hospital serving IMC facilities will help those in the medical field hone their skills.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony at LDS Hospital, scalpels were used instead of scissors. The new Intermountain Simulation Center ranks up there with similar facilities at Duke University and Johns Hopkins University.

Nancy Bardugon, Intermountain Simulation Director, said the center helps them keep up with emerging technology and treatments.

"Medicine is advancing and the technology in medicine is advancing every day by leaps and bounds, and in education we need to be able to keep up with that,” she said. “Simulation is one of those ways that we're doing that."

The patients are mannequins, but they simulate breathing, blinking and even talking.

In one simulation, a patient is admitted to the ICU and rapidly deteriorates. A breathing tube is needed, and then changes in heart rate and rhythm precede ventricular fibrillation.

Doctors and nurses perform CPR and ultimately shock the patient with a defibrillator.

"It prepares you more for real life, so that when you're actually in the situation, you've been through something similar, and you're able to run through it, and be more confident and have a better outcome for the patient,” said Amy Stowe, a nurse practitioner who works in the respiratory ICU.

There is an operating room simulator and an intensive care unit. There is also a room to practice home health care, and labs to practice all sorts of other medical procedures.

"We can listen to breath sounds, we can feel pulses, we can put an IV in them, a chest tube, we can intubate them, we can do everything on this human simulator for the most part that we could on a real person, without risk,” Bardugon said.

The 10,000-square foot center is based at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, but doctors, nurses, and anyone who cares for patients at all 22 IMC hospitals will train at the center.