Care providers are expected to possess an increasingly complex set of skills and knowledge due to aging society and consequently the increasing number of various health and social problems and disabilities. In addition, continuous multi-professional development and networking are essential elements of health and social care practice today. With Simulation Lab, SeAMK offers modern simulation learning environments and development for health and social care sector in South Ostrobothnia, Finland by engaging different stakeholders as South Ostrobothnia Hospital District, Seinäjoki Vocational Education Centre, municipalities, SMEs.
Simulation pedagogy can be used to prepare the healthcare and wellbeing students and professionals for various client and family counselling situations. It also enhances to practice communication and interaction for interdisciplinary teamwork. Simulation-based learning can build a bridge between theory and practice and therefore facilitate learning experience. In Finland, the universities of applied sciences have been assigned the mission of creating and developing attractive learning, research and innovation environments, which also meet the needs of professionals in practice. In simulation-based education, an effort is made to create a near-authentic learning environment and context based on the participants’ aims and learning needs. The experience is immersive since learners can feel that they are part of the environment.
Therefore, SeAMK built a modern simulation learning environment to serve nurse education and other fields in health and social care sector that have growing interests for simulation training in 2018. Thus, a network-like simulated learning environments and education throughout South Ostrobothnia was created by developing multiprofessional simulation education for medical and nursing students and by creating a multiprofessional simulation-based coaching programme for health care and social care professionals in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Simulations were carried out in SMEs premises, which is unique both locally and globally, ensuring a higher participation rate and better transition of learned skills and accomplished ideas to real work. SeAMK supported the creation of multiprofessional simulation-based education in South Ostrobothnia region and conducted simulation training for small and medium sized health care enterprises.
The School of Health Care and Social Work has two Nordic Simulators patient simulators and one Laerdal patient simulator. They are used to practice identification, assessment and nursing for various medical conditions for adult patients. For the Nordic Simulators patient simulators, it is possible to adjust blood pressure, pulse, breathing frequency, oxygen saturation values and their variations with the help of the controlling computer. The patient simulators can be programmed, during a scenario, to have different rhythm disturbances, breathing difficulties (e.g. wheezing, pulmonary oedema, pneumonia) and changes in the level of consciousness. With the help of the controlling computer, the pupils’ size and movement can be adjusted. In addition, it is possible to control tongue swelling and practice challenging intubation situations. IV-access can be installed to one of the Nordic Simulators patient simulator. Nordic Simulators patient simulators have been calibrated so that they function smoothly with regular defibrillators and monitors, as well as with ECG-devices when the teacher programmes arrhythmia to the patient simulator. Electrical cardioversion and external pacing can be performed on the older Nordic Simulator patient simulator. Furthermore, an intraosseous needle can be installed to and thoracocenthesis can be performed on the older patient simulator. In addition to these, there are numerous patient simulators more lightly equipped, to whom it can installed a nasogastric tube or an indwelling catheter among others. Apart from the adult patient simulators, there is on baby patient simulator that can be adjusted to cry, for example.
In simulation and laboratory classes, regular CPR-manikins, used in first aid classes, can be utilized.
In addition to all these patient simulators, the School of Health Care and Social Work has ALSi-simulation devices, which can be used to implement simulation either on patient simulators or on regular human patients. These are mobile simulation devices, as they are not bound to the simulation classrooms.
ALSi device makes it ideal for in-situ training, which provides facilitators with a great tool for training and learners an incredibly realistic platform to learn from. ALSi allows simulation and scenario based education to be delivered quickly. It is a hyper-flexible patient monitor simulator which uses 2 iPads connected wirelessly. The ALSi system includes an AED, multi-parameter patient monitor and defibrillator. They can all be used by the touch screen of an iPad.
ALSi device can be connected to any manikin that we have. It can be used with standardised patient too. It is safe as it does not deliver any energy. ALSi uses 2 iPads connected by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to talk to each other. Wi-Fi can be provided using the supplied Apple Airport Express, Mobile Wi-Fi (Mi-Fi) or using the Personal Hotspot on one of the iPads.
ALSi device is fully featured multi-parameter defibrillator. There are possibilities to monitor and use AED and to run realistic simulations easily. It shows BP waveforms and SpO2 waveforms. It enhances realistic trending of vitals on the fly and programmed and pacing and synchronised cardioversion. It includes plenty of ECG waveforms and a few EtCO2 waveforms. The screens can be converted to any language.
REALITi is a highly advanced patient monitor simulator which mimics proprietary monitors and defibrillators. By expanding the system with more iPads, a complete in-situ simulator with video and simulated patient records can be created.
In addition to these simulation classrooms and devices, we can use the project area’s rooms to carry out guidance and counselling simulations. All that is needed are cameras, microphones, computers, video projectors and a board / wall or a TV-screen where activity can be transmitted.
Collaboration in the Usage of the Simulation Lab
Currently, SeAMK offers facilities for simulating typical scenarios of emergency clinics, intensive care units or common wards, whereas the Vocational Education Centre offers opportunities for practicing prehospital emergency services, including the ambulance context. The Central Hospital has simulation learning facilities for trauma, operating room and labor room scenarios. By agreement, the partners will share their virtual and simulated learning environments to use each other’s concrete simulation facilities as well as virtual learning environments with the aim to create a network that facilitates knowledge sharing as well as facilitates learning, development and innovation in the region. Procurement of similar simulators through common bid processes can also create additional synergy among the partners. The results of the three surveys conducted so far, confirmed that both nursing and medical staff, students and professionals working in SMEs find multi-professional simulation-based learning effective and useful in promoting networking and the exchange of knowledge, skills and support.