Healthcare simulation labs take training to new levels


Lee Health now houses two simulation labs – one at Lee Memorial Hospital and the other at Gulf Coast Medical Center and plans for an additional lab are underway. These simulation labs provide a very realistic training experience for our nurses and certified practical nurses (CPNs) and allow them to learn and grow in a risk-free environment.

The Lee Memorial Hospital Nursing Training Center opened in July with an extensive simulation lab featuring low, medium and high fidelity task trainers, mock patient rooms, a computer lab and a classroom space with videoconferencing capabilities.

“After seeing the difficulties we have all faced over the past two years with COVID, we see the Center as a way to boost morale, support retention and help our nurses and CNAs improve their skills. clinics,” says Lydia Limiero, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, Nursing Professional Development Supervisor. “The Center benefits new and experienced nurses in their professional roles. It also helps international nurses learn how we practice nursing at Lee Health.

Resident Development Nurse Specialist Tony Wright, MSN, RN, CNE-cl, was instrumental in establishing the Center alongside the Lydia team. “We view nursing as the foundation of patient care, and the Center helps nurses improve and master the clinical skills that are essential for safe, high-quality patient care,” he says.

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Wright, who is also a professor of nursing at Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW), says the Center provides an opportunity to advance our nursing residency program while recruiting new nurses to our healthcare system. By partnering with FSW, its clinical adjunct professors can bring female nursing students to the Center to practice their skills.

“The Center shows students what Lee Health has to offer new nurses – that we believe in excellence in nursing. We invest in their training so they can continually provide improved patient care,” says Tony.

FSW also donated a high-fidelity task trainer for the Center that has vital signs and heart, lung and bowel sounds. It can also make sounds to indicate pain and even respond “yes” or “no”, giving nurses and nursing assistants a realistic and hands-on experience during their training.

Gulf Coast Medical Center’s simulation lab opened earlier this month and includes fully equipped critical care and medical-surgical rooms, each with its own high-fidelity simulator and patient monitor.

“High-fidelity simulators are very realistic,” said Traci Grove, MSN, RN, simulation training coordinator. “We can manipulate different heart tones; lung sounds and bowel sounds. They have multiple airway features including intubation and tracheostomy care and suctioning – and we have the ability to insert chest tubes, peripheral IVs and urinary catheters. It’s a real hands-on experience.

A control room between the simulation rooms allows facilitators to control high-fidelity simulation manikins and patient monitors to tailor scenarios to specific training needs.

“It takes our training to the next level,” Traci said. “We can design a fully immersive scenario around an event – ​​a code blue, for example – if a unit needs training in that area.”

From the control room, facilitators observe participants through a one-way window so they have a direct view while manipulating bedside monitors and simulator responses. A recording system also captures audio, video, annotations, patient monitors, and simulator data, so participants and facilitators can review footage to identify successes and opportunities for improvement. The lab includes a debriefing room for these post-simulation brainstorming sessions.

“Suspending disbelief is important for learners,” Traci said. “We want it to be exactly like on unity so that participants can fully focus on the objectives of a certain scenario.”

“For me, simulation creates this safe environment so that we can practice the fundamental and complex skills that will enable our teams to provide safe, effective and efficient care,” said Mandi Mernin, MSN, RN, NPD-BC , professional nursing supervisor. development. “Our goal is to have a variety of high-fidelity and low-fidelity simulation centers throughout the healthcare system – on all campuses and offsite.”

Mandi added that the simulation labs will provide our doctors and other frontline team members the opportunity to come together for scenario-based training.

“We can develop teams that trust and rely on each other and provide excellent care for our patients and, in turn, improve care for our community,” Mandi said. “It takes all of our core values, especially education, and our commitment to excellence to the next level.”

Larry Antonucci, MD, MBA is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Lee Health, Southwest Florida’s leading healthcare destination, providing acute care, emergency care, rehabilitation services and diagnosis, health and wellness education, and community awareness and advocacy programs. Visit to learn more.


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