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CAPS Sim Lab Rocks!

The best way to share how the CAPS Medical Simulation Lab is shaping and influencing our students’ experiences is by allowing them to tell their stories. Please enjoy a smattering of some our Medicine & Healthcare student’s blog posts from various weeks.

“This week In Sim Lab we did what was called a “grab bag” meaning that going into the patient’s room we did not have as much of an idea of what the patient’s diagnosis was going to be as we had in previous weeks. My role was to be the whiteboard recorder. Even though my job was less hands on that it had been in the past, I still feel like I learned a lot and I enjoyed watching my peers and assisting as needed. Mrs. Bacon said it looked like we were doing a kind of dance. I agree. When one of us needed help there was someone to step in and trade roles. For example, Annamarie had trouble drawing blood and Thomas struggled to suture the patient. Thomas was well practiced in drawing blood, so he switched roles with Annamarie and I stepped in to stitch up the patient. I enjoy the real life hands on feel of the Sim lab and the weekly challenges we face there.” – Olivia Baxter, Foundations of Medicine

“CAPS has taught me many medical skills that are important to know how to do, and I believe everyone should become proficient in them. I have learned how to: perform CPR, do the Heimlich maneuver, pack a wound, stop bleeding, take vital signs & blood pressure, draw blood, and suture. Practicing these skills has been fun, my favorites being venipuncture and suturing. I’ve wanted to learn how to suture for some time, and now that I can, I’ve searched other techniques that I hope to try!”  -Abigail Hullinger, Foundations of Medicine

“When a patient codes that means flat-line or in other terms no heartbeat, which if you put it more simply: death. Although, this week my simulation team and I learned how to use our knowledge and best efforts to revive STAN or Mr. Hardy in this case of not only one code blue but two. Our first time running a code could have been improved upon. We didn’t lower the bed as quickly as possible and also did not place the headboard under STAN for a flat surface. I would have also like to have seen compressions be a little more consistent.” –Abby Wolff, Foundations of Medicine

“This week we practiced a code blue situation. On sim lab day, I was the nurse and the one to administer the drugs. I learned how to administer them through an IV and I also have a better understanding of what happens during a code blue.” – Grace Rudman, Foundations of Medicine

“This week we were able to learn about the lungs and different diseases associated with the lungs, like Pneumonia and Pneumothorax. I actually was able to learn and understand the lungs so much that I had a very intellectual conversation with my father about our group’s simulation lab. He was asking me questions and quizzing me, and I was able to answer all of his questions. In Sim Lab, I told our patient what might have been the cause of his spontaneous pneumothorax, which might have occurred because he was smoking. I had to explain to the patient why he should stop, what the surgical procedure would be like, and what are some ways he could stop smoking (nicoderm patch, nicoderm gum, and stop smoking clinics)”. – Sameer Ahmad, Foundations of Medicine

“This week in CAPS our class also had a communication SIM Lab. We had a patient that was having lower back pain, and we discovered that he had Leukemia. We had to have a sincere conversation with him. He got angry, because he only was experiencing lower back pain. In the SIM Lab we were working on how to communicate with a patient to deliver news to them and their family.” – Rachel Johnson, Sports Medicine

“Something else that challenges me is the simulation labs and this week was the hardest one yet. They are probably the most important thing we do in CAPS because it is the closest thing we have to the real world. We advanced our T2S skills in the sports med simulation lab. We now know how to conduct a primary and secondary survey on our patient. We also taped an ankle, iced an ankle, learned how to use a vacuum splint and a SAM splint and took vital signs. These things helped me when I shadowed my athletic trainer on Tuesday after school.” –Wesley Damron, Sports Medicine

“Today at CAPS I went to SIM lab and was the student ATC (certified athletic trainer). I think I did better as the Student ATC this time then the last time I was the student ATC. I asked history questions and some questions that weren’t on the check-list that I thought was relevant to the concussion SIM lab. In the end, our team—in my opinion—did really well working together as a team and evaluating the patient while assessing the patient. I think that our team has learned how to work together and communicate effectively.” – Mallory Peterman, Sports Medicine

“Today I had my first sim lab with sports med. The scenario started with my group outside with one of the simulation dummies face down in the grass. This week we have been talking a lot about spinal cord injury, so I immediately assumed that the dummy had a spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, I was incorrect. On further examination the scenario was that the dummy had no heart beat and was not breathing. Once my team realized that they began immediately giving CPR, and we progressed the simulation from there. This showed me that I saw sim lab as a test at the end of the week that tested our knowledge of the latest week. That was incorrect; sim lab is a set of realistic events that could happen anywhere at any time.” – Noah Smith, Sports Medicine