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A patient is rushed into the emergency room suffering from multiple injuries. Doctors must work quickly, making split-second decisions. Before facing this scenario in real life, doctors-in-training at The University of Arizona College of Medicine practice life-saving skills in the new high-tech Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center. To reduce errors, medical simulation technology offers opportunities for health care providers to perform all types of medical and surgical procedures without risk to patients.

ASTEC provides rural simulation for Greater Valley Area Health Education Center
March 2015

ASTEC travelled to Apache Junction, AZ to lend our simulation expertise to the Greater Valley Area Health Education Center (GVAHEC). Using our low-fidelity MamaNatalie birthing mannequin and our wireless pediatric mannequin SimJunior, we conducted a birthing scenario and a pediatric cardiac arrest scenario with students from Medicine, Nursing and Public Health. GVAHEC is the Greater Valley branch of 5 health education centers in Arizona dedicated to recruting and training competent health professionals to meet the growing needs in urban underserved and rural areas. To demonstrate the potential of telemedicine in connecting rural sites with larger training centers, our training was streamed live to the Northern- and Western Arizona Area Health Education Centers (NAHEC & WAHEC). Remote learners were prompted to actively participate in the simulation training and gained valuable lessions from the activity. 

ASTEC achieves National Accreditation
January 2015

ASTEC has become one of only four simulation facilities in the United States to receive national certification in all four areas of excellence; namely, teaching/education, research, systems integration, and assessment. This is a testament not only to the diversity of our program but also to the richness of our collaborations with the other colleges of the Arizona Health Science Center here and in Phoenix. 

ASTEC provides Simulation Workshop at Neonatology Conference
April 2014

ASTEC provided simulation training to over 20 neonatologists, neonatal fellows, and pediatric physicians at the 2014 Workshop on Perinatal Practice Strategies, Innovation with Evidence sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Clinical educator Lisa Grisham, NNP, MS, and University of Arizona Medical Center neonatologist Joe Livingston, MD staged a unique simulation case, neonatal hydrops fetalis. Presenting a novel hydrops model, Grisham and Livingston provided an interactive workshop to teach physicians how to make simulation models and incorporate them effectively into their medical education curriculum, while simultaneously running the resuscitation. Following each simulation case, there was a facilitated debriefing session with an open discussion on effective debriefing strategies. ASTEC received enthusiastic feedback from conference attendees on the value of the workshop as well as the fidelity of the hydrops model.  The other cases included supraventricular tachycardia and pulmonary hypoplasia of the neonate. 

SimNewB takes to the air - ASTEC stages Air Transport Simulation
March 2014

ASTEC partners with Arizona LifeLine to provide precepted neonatal trainings via helicopter. As part of MED-TRANS Air Medical Transport, Arizona LifeLine has recently expanded its medical transport services to include maternal, neonatal, and pediatric patients. To complete their training for this new patient population, the peds/neo transport nurses are required to participate in a minimum of one precepted transport. Working in collaboration with Valerie Vickers, RNC-MS, the Neonatal and Pediatric Team Coordinator for Arizona LifeLine, ASTEC staged 4 neonatal air transport simulations. Using Laerdal’s SimNewB mannequin, we developed 2 scenarios that required interfacility air transport from an outlying facility:

1.       Birth asphyxia requiring transfer to a center providing hypothermia therapy

2.       34 week Premature infant of diabetic mother in respiratory distress

In each case, ASTEC served as both the outlying facility and the receiving hospital. Each training entailed preparing the baby for transport, loading the isolette onto the helicopter, a brief flight, and transfer to the receiving facility. Transport nurses coordinated the care of the baby, including monitoring of vital signs during the entire transport, receiving and giving report, and communicating with family members. As part of the simulation case, the baby desaturated mid-flight requiring the nurse to find the source of the problem and turn up the oxygen level on the isolette. The training was able to identify potential problems that could arise during a patient transport and prepared transport nurses to deal with them effectively. 


Below is a video of this exercise


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Below is a video of a day in the life of Arizona LifeLine featuring the above simulation exercise


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ASTEC hosts Gridley Middle School Students
March 2014

ASTEC hosted students from Gridley Middle School enrolled in a virtual reality elective class. The objective of the elective is for students to apply concepts of modeling and design to create their own 3D models. At ASTEC, students were provided with a perspective on the healthcare applications of virtual reality. Students were exposed to the Simbionix virtual reality surgical trainer and played our own virtual reality medication errors game. The visit allowed students to understand how practice on virtual reality and computer games can improve clinical skills and help reduce errors in healthcare. It provided them with potential idea for their own 3D models.