Prince Albert campus opens new simulation centre

Jason Kerr
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Saskatchewan Polytechnic took another step towards their goal of becoming one of the top polytechnics in Canada on Wednesday by officially unveiling their newly expanded Simulation Centre.

Saskatoon campus instructor Kara Delveaux (centre) explains a few details about the new high-fidelity simulation room at the Saskatchewan Polytechnics Prince Albert campus.  The new room was finished last winter, and officially revealed to the public on Wednesday.

The new centre gives students in the schools of nursing and health sciences a chance to experience realistic training scenarios before heading out into the work force.

Anne Neufeld, the school’s provost, vice-president (academic) and acting president and CEO, said the campus has been in transition mode over the past year, and the new sim centre provides the innovative techniques needed to achieve that goal.

“Something like the simulation centre is a classic example of that, where as educators we are taking our technology and moving it into the learning environment,” she said.

The project began in 2013 and was completed last winter.  The big change is a new high-fidelity simulation, which allows students to experience and learn about difficult medical procedures without putting patient lives at risk.  It tests critical thinking, decision-making and leadership skills in situations students might not see in a clinical rotation.

The interactive sim also comes with it’s own control centre, so instructors can accurately re-create different situations.

“It’s safety oriented,” Neufeld explained.  “It’s the quality of the education and it really means that when they move into the health regions, they’re not just practicing for the first time on a patient.”

There are already high-fidelity sim labs at the school’s Regina and Saskatoon campuses.  School officials say these sim labs have been shown improve learning and enhance knowledge gained from theoretical study.

“It’s a great bridge between the classroom theory and the clinical experience,” critical care instructor Joanne Lajeunesse said.

The high-fidelity room isn’t the only addition to the sim lab either.  The school has almost double the size of the existing area, and also added a low-fidelity practice bay and simulator, and birthing simulator among other things.

More than 70 students are expected to use the sim centre this year, including students from the Dumont Technical Institute, and the University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing.

@kerr_jas •

Organizations: University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing, Prince Albert, Dumont Technical Institute

Geographic location: Regina, Saskatoon

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