Focus on Workplace Training: Virtually the Best

Focus on Workplace Training: Virtually the Best

Spring 2016

| By: Britten, Casey

Virtual hospital provides ER staff with state-of-the-art simulation training.

ThedaCare, Wisconsin’s third-largest health care employer, looked to Fox Valley Technical College’s Health Simulation & Technology Center (HSTC) for the best in Emergency Room (ER) training. “We brought 240 ER staff members from all seven hospitals to Fox Valley Tech,” says Ann Taake, ER staff development educator at ThedaCare. “We trained everyone in four days, and our employees told us it was the best training they’ve ever had.”

At the HSTC, technology is everywhere in a virtual hospital setting so students and health care professionals can learn by doing. “The simulators completely imitate the human body,” says Bob Sternhagen, simulation instructor. “When learners see how these simulators breathe, bleed, have a heartbeat and react the same way as humans, they immediately increase their focus on learning. The best part, however, is that with a simulator you can always do a procedure over again.”

The facility’s 14 human patient simulators are housed in fully-equipped hospital rooms and can provide in-depth training for virtually any scenario. “We worked closely with Fox Valley Technical College to set up two different ER simulations,” says Taake. “In the first, students cared for a trauma patient who was suffering from severe burns, extremity amputation, a collapsed lung and inhalation injuries. The second simulation was a septic patient, and our trainees had to diagnose the problem and administer treatment.”

The ThedaCare training was so unique that it was highlighted by news media. “It’s great that people could see how hard we work to ensure the best in patient care,” adds Taake. “Fox Valley Tech provides us with outstanding continuing education while staying on budget.”

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The Health Simulation & Technology Center delivers best practice training in a virtual hospital setting:

- 14 human patient simulators 8 hospital beds and observation/control rooms to monitor care
- 6 clinical settings that serve as fully-functional patient rooms
- 1 ambulance simulator, virtual human dissection table, high-tech phlebotomy lab and mock apartment to simulate common physical activities—all housed in a three-story facility