Human Simulation Lab

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The Human Simulation Lab provides a clinical setting for Des Moines University students to apply their professionalism, communication, interviewing, clinical reasoning and examination skills without risk to themselves or their patients. The DMU Human Simulation Lab began as a pilot project during the 1996-97 academic year with 16 patient encounters. Today, the Human Simulation Lab manages nearly 5,000 patient encounters annually.

The human simulation lab is used by the Doctor of Osteopathic MedicineDoctor of Podiatric MedicineDoctor of Physical TherapyDoctor of Occupational Therapy, Master of Science in physician assistant studies and the Master of Health Care Administration programs.

Students from all DMU colleges have multiple human simulation lab experiences that include a wide variety of clinical presentations. Most health care students work with standardized patients, local citizens who are hired and trained to portray or simulate a real patient. They present with a variety of medical problems encountered by students during their coursework.

Aligned with the mission of the university, the purpose of the human simulation lab is to promote the delivery of competent and compassionate health care through educational experiences tailored to meet the needs of diverse learners within a safe, nurturing and professional learning environment. The lab fulfills its purpose in several ways because it:

  • Models the delivery of health care services within the United States.
  • Serves a variety of health care disciplines.
  • Benefits students at all skill levels.
  • Places emphasis on critical patient safety issues.
  • Links instruction and assessment with professional competency attainments.
  • Facilitates professional growth in confidence and self-esteem.
  • Supports development of strong foundational skills in patient interviewing.
  • Assesses proper physical exam techniques/skill proficiencies.
  • Develops and assesses humanistic skills that enhance the patient-centered care philosophies of modern health care, including verbal and nonverbal communication, listening, empathy and professionalism.

Learn More About the Human Simulation Lab

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