Weber State University’s Annie Taylor Dee Simulation Center was packed with excited students and staff who had the chance to explore the newly-renovated area on Nov. 10.
The open house was held Thursday to show the new additions to the center in the Marriott Allied Health Building.
The simulation lab has existed since 2007, but the latest renovation was a vast improvement, according to a Weber State University press release.
The 10-bed open room setting gives the simulation lab the feeling and look of an actual hospital.
In addition to the atmosphere, students have the opportunity to work with 10 high-tech mannequins that let them practice realistic scenarios on their realistic patients.
Another new feature of the lab are the several large televisions which allow professors to observe students and also allow X-ray and 3D images to be viewed.
The lab brings students from all health majors together. Students learning to be paramedics use an ambulance to bring in one of the mannequin patients, at which point, nursing, respiratory therapy and radiologic sciences students work with the student paramedics to save the mannequin patient.
As the open house progressed, students showed off their skills in different simulations. One group of students worked on an infant mannequin, while another group worked on one brought in by paramedic students on a gurney. This showed just how well students can work together in the new lab.
“Interdisciplinary team work is extremely important as we look at the future of health care,” Susan Thornock, chair of WSU’s School of Nursing, said.
Written on one of white-board walls was a message reading: “Implementation of cutting edge technology to engulf the students in life-threatening experiences and provide opportunities to care for critically ill patients.”
“It’s taken a village, the university, the community, almost the entire universe to make this happen. It’s a dream come true,” Yasmen Simonian, dean of the College of Health Professions, said.
Simonian added that she enjoyed watching students from all of the departments working together in a safe place that allows them to practice for the real world.
“This is the most wonderful thing that has happened in a long time,” Simonian said.
Donor Thomas Dee praised the health care profession departments´ approach.
“This is how we learn now,” Dee said. “We practice together, collaboratively, and it’s a wonderful environment. This facility will change the way we practice.”
Students working in the new lab agreed. Dana Justice, a respiratory therapy major who is nearing graduation, said she is excited to finish her education in the new facility.
“This is extremely important to our education,” Justice said. “To be able to do things here that we’ll be doing in hospitals prepares us significantly.”
With the new additions to the simulation lab, students are able to perform in different scenarios as a team multiple times a week, according to Justice.
Similarly, student Kami May, who is studying to be a paramedic, said that the new facility helps her to learn how to work with the nursing staff when bringing a patient in.
“This gives us a real life feel for what it actually is and it makes us better prepared for when we go out and have to be at a hospital,” May said. “It feels like we’ve actually been there and it’s easier to get into it and not feel panicked.”