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Infirmary Opens New Simulation Lab

LITTLE ROCK (June 1, 2017) -- CHI St. Vincent today debuted a newly expanded simulation lab to provide additional capacity to train medical professionals about how to continue to improve quality in patient interactions. 

The expanded lab more than doubles the size of the former training space used to simulate lifelike medical scenarios with male, female and infant mannequins. The new lab features three rooms identical to the patient rooms at St. Vincent Infirmary so that nurses and other medical practitioners can undergo a training experience as realistic as possible. 

"Medical professionals must be technically skilled and prepared to respond to a patient's changing needs, and the simulation lab sharpens those skills for our nurses and students," CHI St. Vincent CEO Chad Aduddell. "This expansion gives us additional capacity for education, a priority at CHI St. Vincent, which helps ensure that we provide the best patient care possible to our community. We are especially thankful to those corporations and individuals who have donated to the CHI St. Vincent Foundation because those gifts made this expansion possible." 

The computer-controlled, interactive mannequins in the sim lab can replicate a variety of medical conditions. Because the expanded lab now features closed-circuit video and two-way mirrors, nurse educators can more easily monitor and instruct those using the sim lab.  

The patient rooms in the lab contain the same furniture as other patient rooms at St. Vincent Infirmary, even down to the menus posted on the wall. The intricate level of detail aids in teaching nurses how to avoid potential obstacles when handling patients who are fall risks, for instance. 

"One of the many benefits of having a simulation lab inside a hospital is that we can train both proactively and reactively based on almost any scenario," said Jacqueline Arnold, director of nursing excellence and clinical education at CHI St. Vincent. "If our nurses encounter a problem and need to know how best to handle it, they can walk down the hall, reconstruct that problem in the sim lab, and we can work together to find the right solution. Having additional capacity for education will allow us to meet our patients' needs more confidently and effectively." 

The simulation lab formally opened this afternoon with a Blessing offered by Chaplain Warren Harvey.

The lab's expansion was made possible by sponsorships and gifts to the CHI St. Vincent Foundation through fundraisers like the foundation's annual golf classic and IV Party. With the support of the Blue and You Foundation, which provided funding for the mannequins through grants to the CHI St. Vincent Foundation, the new lab will be an essential teaching and training tool for CHI St. Vincent for years to come.