Idaho State University Launches New Health Occupations Simulation Lab
November 7, 2022
A new health care simulation laboratory is now open for students at Idaho State University's College of Technology. The Health Occupations Simulation Lab recreates realistic hospital and clinical settings so students can experience real-world health care environments.
The Health Occupations Simulation Lab features seven simulated hospital rooms and two clinical rooms that resemble a doctor’s office or urgent care clinic. The area also contains multiple classrooms and control rooms where students can watch their peers perform as instructors remotely operate advanced manikins that can breathe, bleed and even talk. This modern facility focuses on an interdisciplinary approach — providing opportunities for nursing, respiratory therapy, physical therapist assistant, occupational therapy assistant, EMT and medical assisting students to work together.
“The interdisciplinary approach is very important especially in the clinical or hospital setting when health care providers from different disciplines work together to deliver effective and efficient patient care,” said Henry Oh, executive director and chair of the College of Technology’s Health Occupations Department.
An open house for the lab was held at ISU’s Roy F. Christensen Complex on Wednesday. Attendees were able to witness live demonstrations as students transferred a patient from an ambulance to the simulation lab’s emergency room. Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad took a literal stab at drawing blood from an IV arm simulator after a quick tutorial from medical assisting students. In addition to the new facility, the lab features state-of-the-art equipment provided by grants from the State of Idaho.
“Through these grants, we were able to purchase cutting-edge equipment for various programs at the College of Technology,” said Debbie Ronneburg, interim dean of the College of Technology. “The grant funding will go a long way to instruct all health occupations students at ISU.”
Adjacent to the Health Occupations Simulation Lab is the College of Technology’s Nursing Skills Lab. The Nursing Skills Lab was also unveiled to the public at Wednesday’s open house. The Nursing Skills Lab contains several advanced manikins and IV arm simulators which are used to simulate airway management, catheterization, wound care and sterile techniques — giving nursing students the skills they need even before they begin working with actual patients.
"With the current shortage of clinical sites, simulation allows students to obtain clinical hours using real-life clinical scenarios,” said Jennie Brumfield, director of nursing programs at the College of Technology. “Utilizing simulation affords our students the opportunity to gain experiences that they may not otherwise see in the hospital setting."
Another highlight for attendees included two Anatomage Tables — advanced 3D anatomy visualization systems. The Anatomage Tables display high-definition scans and images for a fully-interactive, life-sized touch screen experience.
While the students are now utilizing the Health Occupations Simulation Lab for learning, there are plans to make this training space available for other ISU programs, local high schools, area health care providers and other community organizations. To learn more about ISU’s Health Occupations programs, you can visit isu.edu/tech.