SIU School of Medicine - Jonathan dela Cruz, MD

EM Simulation & Skills Lab Curriculum

Advances in medical simulation technology have become a vital and exciting facet of the evolving way that EM residents undergo training. Simulation can provide training in a risk-free, supportive environment where the complex nuances of best-practice patient care can be identified, recreated, practiced and tested among different learners to ensure the highest levels of competency. At SIU, we strive to create common as well as unique crisis scenarios. Chaos can be created on demand and scenarios can mimic physiologic changes just as they would occur in real patients. We have a focus on utilizing unique and powerful learning opportunities in key competencies, including communication, teamwork, emergent conditions, and leadership, as well as in tasks that require well-practiced skills such as diagnostics and procedures.

The Simulation Lab

Our simulation curriculum training currently takes place primarily in a greater than 2000 square feet simulation center. We have a total of 7 simulators ranging from several full-size adult trainers, a birthing simulator and pediatric simulators from newborn through adolescent. There are also 4 adult intubation manikins, 2 peds intubation manikins, and 3 multi-disciplinary manikins. We also have a SAM auscultation simulator, 3 IV arms, a half torso cricothyroidotomy manikin, a half torso central line manikin, and a half torso NG tube manikin. Simulation is performed on a monthly basis usually on the 3rd Thursday of every month during core conference time. During these "Sim Days" residents rotate through cases taking turns in leadership roles. Simulations can range from difficult trauma, critical care, or code type simulations to professional and communication skill in areas such as nursing to physician interaction, end of life discussion, or giving bad news that are commonly overlooked during residency training. At SIU we strive to give the most complete training that prepares the future EM physician not only for the clinical challenges of the field, but also the practical challenges one will face on a daily basis in the ED.

As an exciting look into our future direction, our hospital system is set to begin construction in the Spring of 2015 on a $28 million Center for Learning and Innovation, health-care training and conference center, that will eventualy house our simulation training facilities. We are excited about the training opportunities this learning center will bring and are proud to have two core faculty as part of the facility planning team. Timeline for the facility is to be running by 2015.

An ambulance being lifted in to the new simulation lab. This will allow students to experience simulations in a realistic environment almost like an aircraft simulator does for pilots.


The Skills Lab

Through generous donations made by Covidien and Memorial Medical Center, the SIU Surgical Skills Lab opened its doors in May 2000. At that time, it was one of only a handful of centers across the country designed specifically for training surgical residents. With the introduction of our residency, the surgical skills lab has found a new partner in its educational offerings. Given the procedural skill set required of EM, it was only natural for our residency to form a strong relationship with the skills lab. The skills lab curriculum acts to prepare and supplement procedural skills training with EM residents. It is highly utilized during the orientation month to verify proficiency in core procedural skills prior to being on rotations. Using both commercial procedure models and home made models the skills lab has many other procedural offerings including those listed below:

Skills lab staff is also available off line to set up training on any procedure throughout the year during business or after hours. In addition, creation of new procedure models are always on the mind of the staff who are more than willing to build on any ideas that might arise during training. We are very fortunate to have such a great facility and supportive staff!