For the 3rd consecutive year, WISER recently welcomed students from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Bioengineering's senior design course for a morning-long workshop on the practice and technology of healthcare simulation. This year 50 students participated in the workshop led by Dr. Joseph Samosky, Director of R&D for Healthcare Simulation. The interactive program introduced the students to simulation and offered them direct, hands-on exposure to a variety of different simulation experiences. Design course director Dr. Mark Gartner enthused, "This is perhaps the single most intense (and perhaps valuable) experiential learning event in their undergraduate education."
Dr. Samosky presented an overview of simulation with an emphasis on its role in promoting patient safety, and provided a survey of current simulation technologies, the architecture of simulation systems and next-generation research and engineering challenges. The students then divided into small groups and rotated through five different hands-on round-robin sessions. These small-group sessions included: (1) an introduction to the SimMan and Harvey simulators, presented by Dr. Samosky and coordinator of simulation services Melissa Wanker, (2) code team response, led by simulation specialist Josh Franczyk, (3) an introduction to airway management, hosted by Dr. William McIvor, (4) pediatric critical care, presented by Dr. Melinda Fiedor-Hamilton with sim specialist Nichole Erny and (5) first-hand practice in fiber-optic bronchoscopy, led by sim specialist Jon Mazur.
"The Pitt bioengineering students are tremendously bright, energetic and committed," said Dr. Samosky, "And last year two very successful projects resulted from our collaboration with the senior design class." Salim Olia, a student in a team now working on a project related to dialysis training with Dr. Samosky, said, "It is clear that the simulations are priceless in training those in healthcare. I learned my lesson after attempting to intubate the pediatric patient and ending up with the endotracheal tube in the right bronchus." Student Dana Bruck similarly appreciated the experience: "I was completely enthralled by the work that each of you do and the overall purpose and goals that you are trying to accomplish within the medical field."