Michener supports hospital partner with expertise in simulation

When Phoebe Lam, Coordinator of the Anesthesia Simulation Centre at UHN wanted to update the facility with a separate control room, she approached Michener’s Audio/Video Specialist Tim Chipman to support the initiative. Phoebe, a Registered Respiratory Therapist/Anesthesia Assistant as well as Michener faculty, was inspired by her own experience operating the simulation equipment and was impressed with Michener’s expertise in simulation.

“Michener has tremendous expertise in different teaching strategies and technologies,” says Phoebe, who is also a Michener alumnus. The result was a customized control room equipped with audio and video capturing capabilities that now provides enhanced opportunities for learning, teaching and simulation. “Working with Michener opened up new solutions to create a separate simulation control room that has greatly improved the quality of our simulations.”

The Anesthesia Simulation Centre was established at the University Health Network (UHN) in 2008. Over 500 UHN healthcare professionals use the Anesthesia Simulation Centre every year to maintain their clinical competencies. It is currently being used to train and maintain the competencies of over 15 multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals across all sites at UHN.

Susan Dunington, RRT, Professor in the Anesthesia Assistant program at Michener, connected Phoebe with Tim in order to initiate the project. Susan explains, “the more often an individual practices a situation in a simulated setting, the more equipped they are to handle real-life experiences. The original purpose of the Anesthesia Simulation Centre at UHN was to promote continuous learning through practice and debrief. These are important components in achieving quality care and patient safety. The addition of the separate control room creates a safe space for the learners and full immersion in the simulation.”

For Tim, the fundamental goal was simplicity. “I had to create a general purpose, easy to use suite,” explains Tim. “That was the key: as long as you make a fluid, simple, easy to use system, people will come. That’s what happening here.”

“It adds realism to the scenarios since the simulation technician is now running the scenarios from outside the simulation room,” says Phoebe. “This minimizes any interruption of flow during simulation scenarios. With the new audio-visual equipment we are now able to have video debriefing where participants are able to watch their simulation performance afterwards. This has significantly enhanced their learning experiences.”

Tim used his simulation and A/V expertise to arrange a control room that would be versatile enough to meet the diverse needs of UHN, one of Michener’s largest partners. He implemented accessible technologies that would allow for independent use and could accommodate a wide range of healthcare professionals from different disciplines. Due to the high demand of simulation space at UHN, it was important to have a multi-use centre.

“This is a great example of bridging the clinical and didactic divides,” says Dr. Ann Russell, Senior Director, Learning, Innovation and Applied Educational Research. “Whatever we can do to support clinical education at partner clinical sites is a very important piece of the kind of work that we do at Michener.”

Initiatives such as this create an important dialogue between the educational institution and our clinical partners. Phoebe, through the lens of a Michener faculty and health system partner, recognizes the importance of knowledge transfer by means of collaboration. “Healthcare facilities contribute realistic scenarios and current clinical practice back to educational institution,” she says. “This inter-institutional collaboration will result in the best simulation education for learners at both places.”