Before treating actual patients, students and residents gain skills and confidence in diagnosing and treating a wide range of cases on lifelike mannequins in an authentic clinical environment.
The Simulation Laboratory includes six high-fidelity mannequins including: three adult, one birthing mother, one infant and one adolescent. These mannequins exhibit human physiologic functions such as blood pressure, reactive pupils, working tear ducts and heart and lung sounds. Lab participants can perform many common procedures such as starting an IV, obtaining a blood sample, inserting a bladder catheter, giving medications, treating wounds and performing surgical procedures in response to the specific case they are evaluating and treating.
The simulations provide highly realistic, hands-on experiences that help students learn and practice before interacting with actual patients. The lab and its equipment, personnel and even its sounds and smells mirror that of a functioning clinic or hospital. The lab includes three clinical rooms that allow simulated clinical scenarios to run simultaneously.
Cases typically last 90 minutes and include 30 minutes of simulated clinical experience followed by an hour-long debriefing session with supervising clinical faculty. The clinical scenarios focus on the development of clinical reasoning skills, communication, leadership, teamwork and interprofessional relationships.
In addition to DMU students, residents from surgical, internal medicine and family practice programs in central Iowa also train in the simulation lab. Plans include using the lab for medical students, residents, practicing physicians, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, EMS personnel and military personnel.