Simulation Centers and Faculty/Staff Development

 
 
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Top 10 Simulation Facility Questions?
by Malvin Whang - Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 12:58 PM
 

I'm an architect specializing in simulation facilities. I'd like to put together a Top 10 list of questions or FAQ on simulation facilities from questions I get asked or see people asking.

These are questions about either the design or construction of a simulation facility, including high fidelity simulation spaces, skills labs, classrooms, debrief etc.

Here’s the top 10 I thought of.

1. How much does a simulation center cost?

2. How large a space do I need for a simulation center?

3. How much storage should I plan?

4. What kind of AV technology should I use?

5. Which simulation software package should I use?

6. Where is the best place to locate a simulation center on a campus?

7. How do I get started in planning a simulation center?

8. How do I future-proof my simulation facility?

9. Can we provide patient care in our simulation center?

10. What kind of infrastructure do we need for a simulation center?

Please add new questions and I will try to respond as best I can. Some of these are not within my area of expertise and some are dependent on your specific needs and circumstance.

 
Picture of Malvin Whang
Re: Top 10 Simulation Facility Questions?
by Malvin Whang - Monday, October 24, 2011, 3:57 PM
 
10. What kind of infrastructure do we need for a simulation center?

You will need the typical building systems including electrical, heating and cooling, data and telephone. If you plan to broadcast your simulations or other activities, verify that the facility has bandwidth capacity. This may also be a policy issue depending on the type of institution you are.

In addition, some high fidelity simulations may benefit from medical gases being provided. One note, if you are in a hospital, you may not be able to connect directly to the med gas system that is used for patient care. Check with your facilities staff.

Also, providing real O2 and other gases will likely be expensive. Consider using compressed air and vacuum to simulate med gases within the simulation facility if real med gases are not needed. Many ventilators require real O2 and cannot be simulated with just compressed air.

Heating and cooling systems are sized by the number of users anticipated. Care should be taken to locate air supply and distribution to minimize noise and affecting audio recording.
Picture of Malvin Whang
Re: Top 10 Simulation Facility Questions?
by Malvin Whang - Monday, October 24, 2011, 3:58 PM
 
9. Can we provide patient care in our simulation center?

We always try to firmly establish this criteria early in a dedicated facility. It's very reasonable that since a lot of resources are being used to create a almost functioning space, that it might be utilized to provide patient care in a pinch.

However, building codes that govern patient care space (OR, ER, ICU, LDR etc.) are very different than ones for learning spaces outfitted like a patient care space. In fact, to the building code official, a dedicated simulation facility is considered educational occupancy and subject to regulations pertaining to them.

There are instances where "emergency" capabilities are built in to a simulation facility for use in declared emergency. This type of arrangement may earn your facility some development support. This will have to be established early so that correct codes are used for the occupancy.
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Re: Top 10 Simulation Facility Questions?
by Cindy Johnson - Monday, December 19, 2011, 3:27 PM
 

Great questions and answers.  Will you be replying to the others?

Cindy

 

I could write for many pages about what you will need to start a simulation center...We just did:)

I was reading the answer someone gave on the gases. We had O2 and Medical Air installed, like you would find in the hospital. Just plug into the wall and its ready. Although I do not know how much was paid for this system,  it was expensive but it is going to eliminate the sound of the compressors running. If you are running more then one scenario in a room (two beds occupied) then the sound gets to be too much.

It's definitely worth spending the money for this system. This does answer the question about the future....this kind of thing IS the future.....

Thalia