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Banner: Elementary students visit SIM center mannequins

Keeping patients safe, one mannequin at a time

HealthPartners Institute Clinical Simulation Center trains for real-life scenarios

Several students began chest compressions and applied an AED to a patient in cardiac arrest, while in another room, others helped the doctor reassure and turn a patient after a seizure, and still other students used direct pressure to stop a bleeding wound.

These scenes recently played out at the HealthPartners Institute’s Clinical Simulation and Learning Center, located at Regions Hospital, but the students weren’t medical or nursing students; they were 2nd through 5th graders from Horace Mann Elementary in St. Paul.

Horace Mann elementary students at the HealthPartner Institute Clinical Simulation Center

These young people got a unique opportunity to see what it is like to be a healthcare professional by visiting the Simulation Center. The wide-eyed students got a chance to work with mannequins that mimic symptoms real patients would have.

two women viewing a screen at the simulation center

“The ability to teach young children about health professions and health care education is a wonderful opportunity,” said Krista Kipper, who manages the center.

The students and their parents were equally excited about the unique experience.

“I was thoroughly impressed with the sim center experience for our group of youth and parents,” said Sarah Fabel, a Horace Mann parent. “The staff had each one of us engaged in simulations that were intriguing, educational and fun. The kids were fascinated by how realistic the mannequins were.”

The Center has adult, child and infant patient simulators that are able to mimic a wide range of situations, from an adult having a heart attack to a woman going into labor to a newborn in distress. Health care professionals and students are able to take classes and participate in simulations to learn the latest medical techniques and best practices and remain current in low frequency – high risk events, by using highly-realistic equipment and computer-driven patient simulators.

“Performing a medical procedure, like inserting a large IV line into someone’s neck, can be scary for the person performing the procedure and the patient, especially if the person inserting it doesn’t have a lot of experience or lacks confidence in their ability. That’s why we provide opportunities for staff and students to practice and develop competence and confidence in a setting like the Simulation Center. It is one of the ways we focus on patient safety and creating a great patient experience,” explained Gail Johnson, Director of HealthPartners Clinical Simulation.

HealthPartners Clinical Simulation was the first simulation program in Minnesota and surrounding states to be accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

elementary students view a presentation at the HealthPartners SIM Center

HealthPartners is committed to encouraging young people to consider careers in health care. The Simulation Center is a prime example of how we are making sure our current – and – future providers are trained to provide care for patients.

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