A blog that covers the growing world of Medical Simulation and encompasses other simulation environments and technologies.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sim-tastic Semester Setup!


What a summer!
The Clinical Simulation Program has really been cranking the last few months. Before we jettison into a new autumn semester, here are just of few of the highlights from the hot months:

1. Creation of 10 new ED scenarios with Dr. Chris Bowe of MMC.

2. Creation/re-structuring of 6 MNA scenarios.

Lucy Bauer CRNA, MSNA and me "simulating" from behind the scenes.

3. Creation of 2 new instructional videos for MNA and Nursing faculty using the simlabs as theatres. Editing/mastering was done in the control room with iMovie.

4. Creation of "Simulation Orchestrations" - a compilation of multi-disciplinary simulation video clips with music, text, student responses, acting and behind the scenes footages. This video has been officially submitted to the Society for Simulation in Healthcare's IMSH meeting in San Diego this coming winter.

5. Finalized our logo, disc printing and postcard palettes.

6. A trip to the BIDMC simulation center in Boston.

The amazing "virtual OR" at the BIDMC simcenter.

7. Development of a WEB CT platform for simulation faculty and student uses.

8. Designed a whole poster package (with Kristin Quatrano of UNE Communications) for outside the simlabs in the hall.

9. Installed Laerdal's new AVS debriefing software into Blewett 107, 021, 115 and 233.

10. Reconfigured simlab 116 to include
a "research" computer for students or faculty.

11. Provided several high tech skills trainers and simulation equipment to the UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine for their annual Trauma Colloquium.

Thanks for tuning in and look for the blog soon as we have a bunch new events, goals, programs and people coming and going through here all the time. Let's cheer the upcoming semester! Yeah!

T Dada out..........

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Technology rolls!

Earlier this week I traveled to Boothbay to see the LifeFlight of Maine mobile simulation vehicle.
They have reconfigured an RV as a hospital ED and are in the midst of visiting every hospital in the state as part of their new trauma and critical outreach program called the Human Patient Simulator.

It's pretty impressive to see a full METI HPS system housed in a portable environment. There are lots of factors to consider when designing and housing such expensive (and fragile) equipment and LifeFlight of Maine were creative in their design plan. Check out the link to their website above for details about their schedule. If you are close by you should definitely schedule a visit as it is a very unique program and much needed in the state.

Here are a few more pictures:

METI HPS adult and pediatric in the central sim theatre

The control room in the back of the RV

Rick Simpson, CCEMT-P and Andy Tusciette, HPS Instructor

Pediasim with defibrillator

Thanks for reading. Look for another blog in a couple weeks...Todd

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Summer Groove

I can't believe it's been over two months since I last blogged! Even though the late spring/early summer time has less simulations happening, these are the days to get all kinds of other things going like upgrades, implementation of new equipment, organizing and special training. And that's what I've been doing! Here's the list of sim doings from the past two months:
(Links are orange and my quick notes are in red.)


1. Amsco 2080M surgical table. Allows for more realistic OR simulations.
The new OR bed
2. Laerdal Heartcode ACLS system. A stand alone ACLS training, testing and licensing system.

3. Laerdal Advanced Video System. Digital debriefing now possible for SimMan and SimBaby.

4. Hill Rom 835 Hospital bed setup. Looks like a proper inpatient room now.

SimMan sleeping in his new bed
5. Sennheieser circumaural headphones. Better sound, better comfort and the ability to hear the goings on in the control room simultaneously.

6. Apple MacBook Pro running StudioCode software. Digital debriefing for the HPS or any other simulation.

7. Sony 26 inch HD LCD screen. Multiple uses for debriefing and didactic work.
8. Primera Bravo 2 disc publisher. Makes multiple copies of various disc types quickly...with on disc printing.

9. Privacy screens. Adds flexibilty and realism to simulation rooms.

Screens for use in both room 117 and 116
10. Sony and Canon digital still and video cameras. Allows us to be our own in house production studio.


1. Attended a "How to Build A Simulation Center" course at the Mayo Multidisciplinary Simulation Center in Rochester Minnesota.

2. Attended Laerdal's Northeast Simulation Users Network at Foxwoods.

A Simman and backdrop display at SUN
3. Trained with StudioCode technician and recorded Maine Medical's ER residents for detailed, digital debriefing.

4. Configured the Laerdal AVS system in the control room and re-structured the METI HPS computer 2 so that it is positioned on top of the rack.

5. Re-organized all rooms to be more clean and efficient, using new storage and labeling materials.

HPS dude with computer close by

So...now the goals for the summer are clear - We want to improve all aspects of our simulations and debriefing capabilities.

A. With the new digital debriefing systems we will leap to a new level of detail and be able to data collect as never before.
B. With more appropriate bedding and clinical gear we can better simulate the "look and feel" of a particular setting.
C. With more time in the summer to learn how to use the new equipment we are able to get comfortable with it and then train faculty come fall.

Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming blogs and Simulation Users Group Meetings! Enjoy the summer!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Let's Get Together...

The University of New England's Clinical Simulation Program is holding it's first official Users Group Meeting on April 10th at 9am in Blewett 022. Bring your coffee 'cause we'll have coffee cake! Without giving away our whole plan, suffice it to say Cynthia and I have worked up an engaging presentation for you. The program is coming up to it's 4th spring semester of operation and it feels like we should celebrate!

Some (but not all) of the items we'll be touching
on at the Users Group Meeting:

-iChatting in the simlab.
-Scenario development.
-Updates on latest sim happenings.
-Training updates.
-New cases to share.
-Logo ideas.
-The website.
-The Sim Log.
-Users ideas and feedback.

Touch me!
The goal of the meeting is to get everyone up to speed with where we are now and where we are going. We'll also discuss the ins and outs of the next set of meetings and the focus of each one.
Please let us know if you can't make it so that we can forward you a CSP packet. Send and e-mail to clinsimpro@une.edu

Masking "Stan"!
An enlightening read -
LifeFlight of Maine now has a METI ECS simulator and are using him to train doctors, nurses, EMTs and first responders. If you have a few minutes look around on the LifeFlight site and check out their simulation setup. They have a mobile training center. Very cool.

*Okay, that's it for now. See you at the meeting!
Todd Dadaleares

Monday, March 5, 2007

What's Going On?

Sometimes as a simulation specialist you have to climb behind your AV rack to retrace your signal path. Digging into the dark corners where all the cords blend into a nest is not fun but necessary from time to time. Every time I introduce a new piece of equipment into the control room or lab I do so temporarily, because I know that there is a possibility of moving it somewhere more appropriate. For example, if you upgrade your video mixing system - will the new mixers take up desk space, get racked up or sit on something else? We don't know how something is going to "fit" until we use it for a while in the "flow" of a simulation. Once a new piece becomes "fixed" in the cramped space, I realign the cabling more permanently. It just so happens that with all the upgrading I've been doing, I've been visiting the back of my media desk a few times this winter. And here's what's been upgraded, purchased, fixed and/or enhanced this semester:

1. Installed the new video mixers for enhanced playback of vital signs monitor. A"superimposed" image from a camera or monitor lays over the main camera view. Both SimMan and HPS are hooked into the recording and video matrix this way so it goes direct to DVD and the classrooms that way too. Students and facilitators see the action in the room and also see a continuously changing vitals monitor "on top of" the main camera image.

2. The METI HPS systems have been upgraded and now support drug editing, so you (or a researcher) can create a new drug or upgrade to a new one on the market as it becomes available to METI.

3. Created a temporary debriefing room/observation area by running AV cable to the Nursing lab across the hall and attaching a video projector to it. Voila instant debrief room! Maine Med and Nursing are currently using this space.

4. Installed and tested the new METI ACLS scenario case files for the HPS. They are pretty excellent from what I can tell. This gives us the ability to do high fidelity ACLS with the HPS simulators-both at the same time. The case files are diverse and offer some unique challenges and excellent worksheets with each case.

5. Repaired several glitches and problems with one of our METI HPS simulators. The problems were wear and tear issues involving replacing pneumatic tubing and electrical pieces. But I also had an incredibly long winded affair with a lung that was staying super inflated. Throughout the process of trying to zero in on the reason why it was never releasing the pressure in the right lung, I learned a lot about the HPS rack and the pneumatic system in detail.

I ended up changing out several key components in the body and the rack. I think there were seven pieces changed (including the master Linux computer) in all before it turned out to be a very small pneumatic sensor thingy. Needless to say I'm not afraid of anything on the HPS now. A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU TO CURT FROM METI. I couldn't have done it without his patient help.

6. Installed a voice transformer. This little toy is fun. A female can sound like a male or vice versa. Also an actor or facilitator can speak through it and sound like a child or an elderly person. We've found that it helps the "reality" factor for students. If they hear an "old man voice" coming out of a patient who's supposed to be an old man this is better than hearing a woman trying to imitate and old man. Or vice versa. I think we need another one, maybe two.
He he he he....

7. Implemented wireless headphones into the control room. The reasoning is simple - less wires running across the room is better. The thing is, a control room tends to be an electromagnetically heavy zone. Lots of waves criss crossing the space. We have found that the headphones work but because there are so many pieces of equipment running in the immediate vicinity, the range for hearing is quite small. If you get up and walk beyond 8 feet from the cradle/transceiver the sound cuts off completely. However no cross talk problems have turned up yet.

8. Implemented walkie talkies for facilitator/actor communications. These will be used so that the control room folks can discreetly "control" an actor or faculty member with voice cues. For example, the person in the lab could be playing the girlfriend of a man who's been in a motor vehicle accident. She can stay in character and take cues from the facilitator in the control room as they say, "Okay, now start getting agitated and question the PA's decision making". The person playing the girlfriend has an ear bud in and can hear the instructions and act appropriately. Also during busy days the use of the walkie talkies helps keep track of your colleagues. Multi uses for multi-taskers.

9. OH, Yeah...started this blog. (And it's taking on it's own life.)
10. Ordered and installed new emergency bedding. Now the sims are all mobile.
So those are the larger updates to our little sim universe. This summer there are plans for even more "stuff" to be introduced to the program. I'll keep folks in the loop during the summer.
Seeya next week.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Welcome New Simulationists...


In the lab recently we've been experiencing some growth with new members and contributors joining the simulation team. We are proud to welcome officially Lucy Bauer, Dawne-Marie Dunbar, Courtney Clark and Chris Bowe of MMC ED! The experience these folks have brought to the sim program recently has made every simulation thereafter that much more realistic.

Lucy with students and METI HPS.

Lucy Bauer has been with the Nurse Anesthesia Program for several months now and has taken the OR scenarios to the next level. As a facilitator she is engaging and thoughtful. She plays the roles and does the voices whilst orchestrating the cases she has "scripted" from her real life experience as a nurse anesthetist. She has been known to scream wildly as a pregnant patient or cry or moan as a nervous, anesthetized pre-op patient. During the scenarios she will sometimes run back and forth from control room to lab, each time as a new role. She teaches through simulation with conviction and wows her students regularly. A true one woman show.

Dawne-Marie with her plastic friend.

Dawne-Marie Dunbar has quickly infused her energy into the Nursing Program. Her OR experience is invaluable and will help shape the nursing sims to come. Before long, like Cynthia Morris, she'll be running the cameras, doing the patient voice and answering the phone as the doc! Phew...Oh yeah, and debreif too. She's implementing new cases for the Nursing program and learning all this new technology. Another sim geek in training!

Chris debreifing with the defibber!

We have reached an agreement with Maine Medical Center's ER and Anesthesia Department and will be providing the simulation expertise, space and services to facilitate the training of their residents. Needless to say in the first week with Chris Bowe and his ER residents we did some pretty intense scenarios(can't elaborate because some residents haven't been through yet) and I had to quickly control very specific changes on the HPS ....which as some of you know is no easy task. But we persevered and have been training his folks twice a month. At any rate, Chris has been wonderful to work with and provided me with a wealth of knowledge in the few short weeks it's been since we started simming. We welcome Maine Medical Center and their tremendous reputation to our team.

Courtney Clark
is our new work study buddy and she's cool because she helps us do the jobs we can't get psyched to do alone ...or something like that. We'd like to welcome her to the team as well. Hopefully we can rope her into playing a role in a scenario soon too. Courtney's in the nursing program and listens to loud rock on her headphone thangs.

Again, thanks to all the new players who've been making it fun here in our little corner of the sim universe.

*Next post will be coming very soon and it'll be technically oriented. -Todd

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Getting up to speed

Welcome Simulation Enthuisiasts!
I'm excited to have the UNE SimLog up and running now! I want to try and post every week but most likely it'll be more like every two until it becomes more routine. This will be the place where healthcare simulation enthusiasts and tech geeks come to find out the latest goings on in the Clinical SImulation Lab at the University of New England's Westbrook College Campus (WCC).
A spinoff from the static webpages so to speak.

These posts will be informally gathered with links and pics and a sense of fun!

From week to week I'll cover:
1. What we've been running for simulated scenarios(if appropriate).
2. Technical issues in the sim world.
3. Updates to the lab or the program.
4. New faculty and staff additions/accomplishments.
5. General simulation discussion topics.
6. Hotbed issues around technology in higher learning .
7. Links to other simulation programs and tech geek sites!

So, if you are new to hi fidelity healthcare simulation, then start by checking out the UNE Clinical Simulation Program website. There is alot to see and read about there so take your time and look around.

Another nice jumping off point for all kinds of simulation in general is The Human Simulation Web Community. Jeffrey Taekman is well respected in the sim community and is a featured author and editor. I think he created the site too.

That's it for the first official post. Tune in next week.