MOSCOW— Working with six local physicians, 25 second-year medical students performed focused physical assessments on volunteers acting as patients during the Gritman’s simulation lab’s inaugural learning program.
Training doctors to serve rural communities is one of Gritman Medical Center’s top priorities. With this goal in mind, Gritman recently dedicated a portion of the hospital to serve as a simulation lab for local Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) medical students.
“Simulated patients give students a safe space to practice real-life scenarios,” said Dr. Jennifer Bentwood of Moscow Family Medicine. Simulation also allows students to familiarize themselves through hands-on experience to develop their skills for providing patient care in routine, emergency and life-saving scenarios.
Each simulation room is equipped with cameras and audio capabilities, which allows instructing physicians to observe students as they practice simulated medical situations — all without instructors having to physically enter the room.
Gritman’s medical simulation uses a combination of high-tech and low-tech learning options. High-tech simulation includes voice-assisted manikins, while low-tech uses life-like props and scenarios to recreate realistic situations for practice. All simulation is governed by sets of standards from organizations such as the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.
Plans are currently underway to convert the old patient-care area on third floor of the hospital into a permanent simulation lab and learning center.
“We are meeting to design a space where WWAMI medical students and Gritman clinical staff can share resources and learn from each other,” said Deb Meshishnek, RN and Gritman Education Coordinator. “In larger areas, inter-professional education fosters simulation with students from all backgrounds.”
Gritman Medical Center is a non-profit, people-focused, community-driven organization that provides excellent and compassionate health care for the people of its communities. Gritman Medical Center has received national recognition for its leadership, patient satisfaction and customer service. Visit us at www.gritman.org.
WWAMI is a regional medical educational program through the University of Washington aimed at educating future doctors in the five-state region. The program specifically aims to keep these bright young doctors in rural communities like Moscow, or similar ones in the region.