The SYN:APSE center, a simulation center that is home to mannequins that breathe, bleed and give birth, has acquired new facilities in Yale-New Haven Hospital.
On Oct. 1, SYN:APSE acquired new facilities inside the pediatric unit of the hospital. The center, which first opened in 2009 at 730 Howard St., provides doctors and patients with state-of-the-art facilities for simulating patient conditions they encounter in clinical settings in order to give them hands-on experience with these situations.
Stephanie Sudikoff, director of the SYN:APSE simulation center and assistant professor of pediatrics, said the new facilities will be more convenient for physicians, who will no longer have to leave the hospital to use simulation facilities. She added that this convenience will help SYN:APSE better achieve its goalto provide Yale healthcare providers with training facilities where they can re-enact situations they would encounter in the field, Sudikoff said.
“Participants learn a tremendous amount by being exposed to different challenging situations,” Sudikoff said. “People are interested in optimizing performance.”
The new SYN:APSE facilities are furnished with conference rooms and six mannequins that simulate patients, including a newborn, a child, two men and Noelle, a pregnant woman who can deliver a baby.
The mannequins reproduce many of the scenarios encountered in clinical practice. They move their chests as if breathing, simulate heart-beating sounds, open their eyes and dilate their pupils. They can also be injected with fake blood, have burns and scars and have a filled bladder. Actors can impersonate different attitudes of the patient by speaking through them, Sudikoffsaid.
After simulating one of the many different possible scenarios, she added, participants discuss their experiences with each other to determine how to improve the quality of care in a similar scenario.
The idea of applying simulation techniques in medicine evolves from similar techniques in the aviation industry, Sudikoff said. Through simulation, pilots and crew members learn how to work effectively as a team in high-risk situations.
“We are a generation behind on training physicians using simulation techniques,” Sudikoff said. “But the earlier they get the experience, the earlier they develop the habit. We want to make medicine as safe as getting on an airplane.”
Although medical school students are welcome to perform a rotation at the SYN:APSE center, Sudikoff said, they receive simulation training at other locations. She added that nursing students use the facilities the most.
Jessica Bod MED ’12 completed four weeks of her elective rotations at the center. She said one of the most exciting aspects of rotating at SYN:APSE was enacting different characters —such as an intoxicated patient, a physician and the mother of the mannequin child —so that nursing students would encounter more challenging scenarios.
Bod added that learning at the center helped her learn about nurses’ perspectives in certain situations.
“Nurses perform different roles [than physicians],” Bod said. “For instance, they have to learn how to call a physician in an emergency, whereas we learn how to call consultants.”
Bod is the only student in her class who does her rotations at SYN:APSE. She said she made this unorthodox decision because she is considering a career in medical teaching, and she knew the center would provide her with experience in teaching adults.
A few departments in the hospital, such as Emergency Medicine, have their own simulation centers designed to train their physicians. Steven Bernstein, associate professor of emergency medicine, said medical students completing a rotation in his department use the department’s mannequins instead of the SYN:APSE center’s.
Several researchers are performing studies to determine whether simulation training better prepares physicians for emergency situations.