Learning and Assessment Center brings simulated medical experiences to students and more

Posted at 3:53 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 15:53:08-04

How do health care providers first learn basic care skills like inserting a breathing tube? How do they build that all-important bedside manner or learn to work in teams during emergencies?

Before they ever enter their chosen professions, Michigan State University’s medical, veterinary and nursing students learn these skills in a safe and realistic environment on East Fee Hall’s sixth floor in the Learning and Assessment Center, also known as the LAC.

While most medical schools have some form of simulation center, which offers real-life medical experiences in recreated doctors’ offices and hospital rooms, MSU’s is unique in that it supports all four of the health colleges. It also gives medical and nursing students the opportunity to engage in interprofessional education in team-based situations and is the only simulation facility that provides learning experiences for middle and high school students interested in pursuing health-related careers.

The LAC was one of the first facilities of its kind to earn accreditation by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, also known as SSIH, in teaching/education, assessment and research. The society’s members get to see the center firsthand when the SSIH brings its annual conference to East Lansing and MSU July 27—28.

About 200 individuals representing more than 150 simulation centers from across the United States and 10 other countries will spend the two days exploring topics that range from the intersection of Hollywood special effects and health care simulation to the potential for 3D printing in the simulation setting.

“We are honored to have been chosen by the SSIH to co-host this dynamic international conference,” said Mary Kay Smith, the LAC director. “There will be a great deal of action and interaction, exchange among simulation experts and trying out new simulation technologies and models. Plus, we’ll get a chance to show off the great facility we have at MSU.”

Smith also noted that some of the new technologies being showcased at the conference might one day be back in the LAC as training tools for future health care providers.

“We focus on using evidence-based, innovative strategies to help train future and current health care professionals and we’re very committed to using the best practices and methods that are available. We’re always looking ahead for better tools and techniques,” she said.