Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Sask Polytech Prince Albert campus opens expanded simulation centre

Ribbon cutting held for expansion of nursing and health sciences simulation training space

November 4, 2015 - Saskatchewan Polytechnic hosted the opening of the newly expanded Simulation Centre at the Prince Albert campus Academic building this afternoon. The Simulation Centre provides a lifelike, hands-on learning environment allowing students to practise skills in a variety of nursing and health sciences programs.

"Our vision is to be recognized as the first-choice polytechnic in Canada by 2020," says Dr. Anne Neufeld, Saskatchewan Polytechnic acting president and CEO. "This would not be possible without innovative technologies and new ways of learning. The Prince Albert campus simulation centre sets Saskatchewan Polytechnic apart, providing our students with practical hands-on, applied learning opportunities."

The expansion mimics the simulation centres located at the Saskatoon and Regina campuses. The Prince Albert campus simulation centre provides two distinct learning environments: a low-fidelity area and a high-fidelity area. The low-fidelity area provides students with the opportunity to acquire specific patient care skills that range from personal care, physical assessment, and medication administration to the insertion of medical care devices like nasogastric tubes and urinary catheters. This environment allows faculty to ensure students have the base knowledge and confidence in their skill sets prior to engaging in care within practice education settings.

In the high-fidelity area students are challenged by situations or scenarios where their skills and knowledge can be pulled together to determine appropriate care decisions. Emily Harder, simulation centre program head shares, "This learning environment helps students and faculty identify strengths and gaps in knowledge acquisition and application. High-fidelity simulations facilitate opportunities for students to engage in situations they may not see in a clinical rotation, such as a code." Harder adds, "Learners can also trial their critical thinking, clinical decision making, and leaderships skills in a low-risk environment." Both areas create opportunities that prepare learners to participate in safe, patientcentered care.

The two-phase expansion includes extra patient care bays and the addition of a high-fidelity interactive room with a separate control centre. Phase one involved expanding the existing lab to 1,464 square feet during the summer of 2013. The second phase took place in the winter of 2015, when the high fidelity room and an additional low fidelity practice bay were added. In addition to the renovations the simulation centre includes: a new hospital bed, a new ELMO projector, low-fidelity simulators, an obstetric birthing simulator, new mobile classroom desks and an instructor table. Additional AV controls were purchased to allow sound to travel from the high-fidelity learning environment to the control room.

The simulation centre serves both the School of Nursing and the School of Health Sciences. Programs that utilize the space include Practical Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, Critical Care Nursing, Continuing Care Assistant and several continuing education courses. The centre also serves students in the University of Saskatchewan's College of Nursing courses, as well as Dumont Technical Institute programming.