Health care training hits the road

ECU’s Clinical Simulation Center took another step forward this spring when it unveiled its new mobile health care simulation unit, a vehicle designed to take training and continuing education opportunities on the road to reach medical professionals throughout eastern North Carolina.

The unit, built by Rosenbauer America, the fire truck and emergency vehicle manufacturer, is one of only nine in the country and the only one in the Southeast. It contains a realistic, simulated, fully equipped hospital resuscitation bay, an additional ambulance compartment, a control area and video debriefing capability. The interior can be converted into a classroom setting to accommodate a variety of educational activities.

The high-fidelity mannequins can simulate numerous situations that would be encountered in a clinical setting, said Dave Schiller, operations and simulations manager. From a 5-year-old with a leg injury to a female giving birth, they expose trainees to the entire spectrum of medical situations.

“Simulation is a bridge between the classroom and real-life experiences,” said Dr. Walter “Skip” Robey III, assistant dean for simulation and safety education and director of the Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Center at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.

“It allows medical professionals to learn, train and rehearse together in an environment that does not compromise patient safety.”

The Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Program is a collaboration between the medical school and Vidant’s Center for Learning and Performance. Last year, the center logged 7,500 learner encounters, including students and professionals from Brody, the College of Allied Health Sciences, the School of Dental Medicine and Vidant. The 7,500-square-foot center encompasses 14 imulation rooms and now offers the mobile unit.

Programming is supported by a grant from the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma to provide pediatric trauma training to regional hospitals in eastern North Carolina.