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SimLife Center

The words "he's stopped breathing" cause medical students to scramble to their patient's side. They administer emergency procedures to revive him, and although he starts breathing again, he still isn't alive. He's a SimMan, an advanced training mannequin designed to simulate a live human so medical students can practice real-life skills in a safe environment. This is no ordinary classroom. Made to replicate an actual hospital ward, curtains drape around five beds. Monitors blink; oxygen pumps and fluids flow into patients that upon closer look are mannequins mimicking symptoms from a variety of illnesses, wounds and other trauma scenarios that come up in real life. The chest rises and falls with fake breaths. Students take the pulse and other vitals, record data in SimMan's medical chart and confer with the rest of their team on what care to provide. One of the students says "Sometimes it's easy to forget they are not real. They bleed and they can even talk to us. Practicing on a simulator builds my confidence for when I have to do an actual procedure." Depending on the scenario, SimMan can talk, moan, laugh or cry. Computer software allows a controller to create different traumas as well as assess the care it gets. Students can listen to him like they would a regular patient. His chest can rise and fall and students can hear lung sounds, heart sounds, bowel sounds. One significant difference is that in real-life medical practitioners have to work at a different pace. Here students can take their time and simulate a real-life situation until they feel comfortable doing a given procedure or completing assessments. Then, when they are in a clinical setting, they feel more prepared to do things in a real world pace.

Texas Tech is installing a modern SimLab in its Health Sciences Center in Lubbock and BCC has been selected to commission the facility. Simultaneously, BCC will be commissioning a new Cancer Laboratory in the same building. This is the eighth commissioning contract awarded to BCC by Texas Tech.