Sim Lab Gets Upgrade

From Babies to Blood Pressure: Sim Lab Offers High-Tech Training

After seven years and more than 700 births—including breach babies, C-sections and twins—Noelle, NorthBay Healthcare’s Simulation Lab mother, is finally retiring, reports Lacy DeQuattro, Simulation Lab program coordinator. Enter Noelle II, a real birthing machine, who literally can deliver on command, under a variety of complex scenarios, all with the purpose of preparing NorthBay medical staff for any possible labor situation.

The Simulation Laboratory team includes (left to right) Lacy DeQuattro, Eric Davis, Sarah Peffer and Orlando Rios.

She comes with multiple bellies, so staff can practice palpating the baby or turning it, if it’s not in the proper position. They can cut into a skin insert, just as if it were a real C-section, give an epidural or practice stitching, if she suffers a tear.

Noelle II isn’t the only addition to NorthBay’s Sim family. A new baby, Tory, is a high-fidelity neonate who can cry, move her arms and even turn blue. Medical professionals can find a pulse in her umbilical cord, arm and head.

Mother and baby are just two of many high-tech additions to NorthBay’s state-of-the-art Sim Lab, which offered training to more than 6,000 clinical workers, physicians and members of the community in 2016.

“When I started here in 2012, we trained 800 people. That number has just exploded and it’s going to continue to grow,” said Lacy, who often takes her Sim family on the road, teaching first aid and resuscitation techniques at schools, local fire stations and community events.

NorthBay Healthcare uses the lab—designed to look like a two-bed hospital room—for ongoing training of its medical personal. Technicians sit in a viewing area next door and videotape procedures that are then played back during a “debrief” session.

“It’s the best way to learn,” said Lacy. “They often don’t realize what they’re doing until they watch themselves on video.”

Four new, high-definition cameras, built into the ceiling, can capture 360 degree-angles of what’s going on in the lab. Two new microphones have been installed, so techs can hear what’s going on, and instructors can be heard from the observation room.

It means that instructors can even teach remotely, as the video is available via the Internet on any cell phone, tablet or laptop.

There’s also a new portable system—a suitcase loaded with three cameras and a laptop—so the Sim classroom can be taken on the road—to NorthBay Medical Center, NorthBay VacaValley Hospital, or anywhere a class is needed, said Lacy.

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