Clinical Simulation Center

The Clinical Simulation Center is a sophisticated, simulated clinical environment which provides our students with a hands-on, safe and supportive place to learn. In our center, learners interact with people, simulators, computers or task trainers to accomplish the skills they need in the real world.

At the Clinical Simulation Center, students learn to care for simulated "patients" mimicking the physical signs and symptoms of diagnoses such as stroke, cancer or diabetes. Students practice a range of skills such as starting IV’s or suturing wounds without fear of patient harm, and can keep practicing until they get it right. 

Who We Serve

The Clinical Simulation Center serves all healthcare disciplines within the School of Health and Natural Sciences, including Nurses, Occupational Therapists, and Physician Assistants. We also provide Interprofessional education offerings so students “learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.” (World Health Organization 2010)

What is Simulation?

Simulation is a method of teaching that allows learners to experience a representation of a real healthcare event for the purpose of practice, learning, evaluation, or testing. (SSH) Simulation Based Training has emerged as a key component of the patient safety movement and is increasingly being used to improve clinical and teamwork skills in universities, hospitals and clinics.

When applied properly, simulation-based training allows students the opportunity to learn new skills, engage in deliberate practice of those skills, and receive focused real-time feedback. The goal of simulation-based training is to enable the accelerated development of expertise, both in individual and team skills, by bridging the gap between classroom training and real world clinical experiences in a relatively risk-free environment. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, July 2016)

Hospitals and universities across the country are using simulation as a tool to advance the quality of health care education because learning “what to do” from a classroom lecture is one thing. Applying the knowledge when it counts is quite another. Simulation provides hands on, life like experiences to help students translate knowledge from the classroom into action at the patient’s side when and where it really counts.

The Clinical Simulation Center uses many tools to teach our students:

Standardized patients:

  • A person who has been carefully coached to simulate an actual patient so accurately that the simulation cannot be detected by a

skilled clinician. In performing the simulation, the SP presents the gestalt of the patient being simulated; not just the history, but the body language, the physical findings, and the emotional and personality characteristics as well (Barrows 1987)

Human patient simulators (manikins):

  • refer to a broad range of full-body manikins that have the ability to mimic, at a very high level, human body functions.
  • Human patient simulators may be used for procedural skills, or as components of fully immersive clinical scenarios.

Task trainers:

  • A model that represents a part or region of the human body such as an arm, or an abdomen. Such devices give feedback on manual skills such as IV insertion, ultrasound scanning, suturing, etc. Generally used to support procedural skills training; however they can be used in conjunction with other learning technologies to create integrated clinical situations (ASSH).


Here's what our students tell us they learned at the Clinical Simulation Center: 

After introductory Health Assessment simulations:

  • Patients appreciate when nurses listen and support them
  • Slow down, take your time, and really listen to your patient.
  • How to approach patient and assess the problem with confidence
  • To always check the wrist band and verify the patients identity
  • To be able to bring comfort and ease to the patient


After pediatric simulations:

  • Keep calm and take control of the situation
  • How to teach a patient about diabetes
  • Patient/family teaching since students usually don't do that
  • How to teach patients about self-administering insulin injections
  • Signs of distress --> failure -->arrest
  • Proper tools to use when a code situation, identifying MAP, vitals, sitting up in bed for SOB, oxygen, nitro, even simple roles such as recording are extremely helpful
  • What to do if a patient on opioids begins to have decreased respirations


After cardiac emergency simulations:

  • I learned what a code blue looks like. I've never seen one before!
  • How to save a life :)
  • I learned a lot today that I can use in the field
  • How to work together as a team during a critical time
  • How to remain calm during code & organize designated roles
  • Communication during a code blue, always call for help early if needed
  • Learning how to interpret cardiac monitoring and how to respond appropriately with a team
  • Learning the difference between Vtach, Vfib, and ST elevations and some of the goals and interventions to minimize cardiac problems
  • The importance of communication & collaboration
  • Practice makes perfect 


After home care visit simulations:

  • I've never done a home visit, so I was able to learn how to conduct one & the scope of practice in doing them
  • I learned about a new part of nursing-important things to look for in the home, new way of thinking about care
  • I am feeling more confident in my home visit skills and what to look out for in the home
  • How to better care for someone in the home health setting
  • Connecting the dots
  • I learned to be a better and passionate nurse who needs to address pt needs


Our students' thoughts about simulation in general: 

  • Do it more often! Super helpful & important
  • More scenarios!
  • This is honestly perfect!
  • I really enjoyed this, I wouldn't change anything
  • I thought this as a great sim experience. It went really fast but run effectively
  • Really felt real. Happy to experience this one