SIMS Medical Academy™

Board of Higher Education Project Update

In July, an Introduction to Patient Simulation seminar and a Patient Simulation Workshop was offered to all Massachusetts community colleges.  The purpose of both offerings was to prepare nursing faculty and staff to begin developing patient simulation units and integrating, at the basic level, patient simulation experiences into the nursing curriculum.  Of the 15 community colleges, 13 had faculty, staff and administrators attend one or both summer sessions.  Three patient simulators of the Vital-Sim level, were purchased by the grant.  The three patients will be delivered and "installed" over the summer.  One patient will be installed at Mount Wachusett, the Region II lead and the other two at Mass Bay Community College, the Region III lead institution.  Region I lead, Springfield Technical Community College, has developed a temporary website that will be used to provide support and share experiences of all 15 community colleges.  Each regional lead will be responsible for coordinating additional training and continued support for Academy members. 
Developing and testing a complete patient event. Each group of participants developed a patient event and then actually "ran" the scenario.  STCC nursing students and graduates were on hand to assist in implementation of new scenarios.  In this event, the patient is found on the floor, having fallen out of bed.  The unit shown is the eight bed Basic Care Patient Unit. 
Learning the controlsAt least one person from each group was able to actually control the patient during an event.  In this picture, One of the SIMS Medical Center's staff stands behind a workshop participant as she reviews the scenario sequence.  Shown is Bed 3 Control for the Acute Care Patient Unit. 
SIMS Medical Center Staff demonstrate a cardiac event. SIMS Medical Center Staff demonstrated several patient events so workshop participants could see what was involved in a Total Application Scenario.  Shown is the four bed Acute Care Patient Unit. 

The next Phase:

The original project had to be scaled back considerably due to limited funding.  It did however, create the base infrastructure needed to continue building on the original concept.  When possible, SIMS Medical Academy will seek BHE funds to provide additional training in patient simulation, development of educational materials, and a complete patient unit for each community college.  A patient unit consists of four patients with all equipment, supplies, control units and recording units needed to provide high quality Total Application Scenarios" for students.  

Final Report To BHE:

            Narrative and Objectives: The purpose of this project was to begin building an infrastructure to support integration of patient simulation into the nursing curriculum of colleges within Massachusetts .  To that purpose, SIMS Medical Academy™ (The Academy) was created as an “umbrella” organization providing patient simulation exploration, development, implementation, dissemination, and continued support with the establishment of three regions within the Commonwealth at Mass Bay Community College , Mt. Wachusett Community College and Springfield Technical Community College as the lead institutions.   Each of the project objectives were achieved.  


  1. The BHE grant funded purchase of three patient simulators to help establish three lead institutions not then owning two patient simulators.  Mt.Wachusett now has one patient simulator per the BHE funding and has purchased a second as in-kind resource.  Mass Bay required two patient simulators after the existing unit was determined to be too complex for the purpose of the project.  Related technology to complete installation is being obtained over the summer by the institutions.  Region I lead institution, Springfield Technical Community College did not need additional patient simulators at this time.
  1. Training in integration of patient simulation was accomplished by four days of seminars and hands-on patient simulation experiences.  An “Introduction to Patient Simulation” seminar was held on 16 and 17 June, 2005 and was open to anyone who wished to participate.  A second “Train the Trainer” hands-on workshop followed on 20 and 21 June, 2005 .  Participants were selected by faculty and administrators from each of the 15 community colleges involved in the project
  1. Region II and III lead institution personnel were the focus for the “Train the Trainer” hands-on 20 and 21 June, 2005 session.  Each lead institution had a “core” team trained to the level of being able to introduce patient simulation to others within their own institutions, but also offer introductory training to region institutions.
  1. An assessment was conducted by Springfield Technical Community College of the use of technology in nursing programs at public higher education institutions with a report.  That report will be sent under separate cover.
  1. Although not in the original proposal, STCC has created a temporary website to disseminate information about this project and to provide continued support to SIMS Medical Academy members.  The site can be found at  then clicking on SIMS in the upper right navbar. 

Number of Participants and Description:

Of the 15 community colleges supporting the project, 12 were able to send participants to at least one of the two June summer training sessions.  All institutions wanted to send faculty, but “work to rule” and end of the contract “year” is believed to have played a part in slightly less than 100% participation.  For each of the four days of summer sessions the number of participants were:  24 for 16 June; 25 for 17 June; 27 for 20 June, and 25 for 21 June.  A total of 43 distinct college personnel received training in patient simulation.  Each institution was encouraged to send one administrator, one support person and at least two nursing faculty to as many of the four days of training as possible.            

ation of Program Effectiveness:

            Each participant was requested to complete a daily evaluation form.  The results for 16 and 17 June, 2005 are: 18 responses  with 17 rating Overall Program as “high” with 1 rating of “medium.”  The 20 and 21 June, 2005 hands-on training:  22 responses with 21 rating Overall Program as “high” and 1 as “medium.”  Some of the comments are as follows:  “Over all was really great (12);” I was intimidated before, but not now (1);”  and “This has been an amazing 4 days- in terms of beginner with no knowledge to someone who can use this approach in teaching.”

Possible Long Term Impact:

            There are now 43 additional college personnel who better understand the use of patient simulation in the nursing curriculum.  Over half of the participants now have the ability to actually perform and to continue to develop patient simulation integration into the nursing curriculum.  College administrators better understand the need and the resources it will take to continue development.  With additional funding, the infrastructure created under the umbrella of SIMS Medical Academy can continue to grow and eventually provide, not only enhanced educational experiences for nursing students, but also provide workforce development for current and future employees within the medical community.  The impact will be better prepared nurses, better patient care and enhanced risk management for medical institutions. 

            Project Expense Report:







Supplies and Materials









Other: Needs Report







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