Upon entering the MGH Learning Laboratory, students across professions and career stages are greeted by the sights and sounds of a typical hospital room – complete with the blinking eyes of a robotic patient manikin. The lab’s instructors control the manikin to simulate scenarios providers may encounter on the job. In a recent session, Korey White, MPH, a physician assistant student rotating through Mass General for clinical training, was tasked with diagnosing and developing a care plan for an 80-year-old patient presenting symptoms of a urinary tract infection following her hip replacement.
“Being able to complete simulations is so important for future providers,” White says. “It allows us to encounter critical cases we might not always see in practice.”
Using a range of adult and pediatric manikins, procedural task trainers and equipment such as ultrasound and defibrillators for simulation training, learners in the MGH Learning Lab can improve their skills with support from experienced simulation specialists. Working closely with the Knight Nursing Simulation Program and other teams, the Learning Lab also supports training “in situ,” bringing teaching sessions into clinical areas to maximize the fidelity of the experience for learners of all levels.
“No matter what specialty one works in or whether one is a student or seasoned professional with decades of experience, the MGH Learning Lab provides the support needed to create and implement simulation-based training sessions in a judgment-free, risk-free environment,” says James Kimo Takayesu, MD, Medical Education Fellowship director for the MGH/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Emergency Medicine Residency and departmental simulation officer for MGH Emergency Medicine.
“Looking to the future, we hope to continue expanding the role of simulation-based education to support the Mass General Brigham mission of clinical excellence.”
The lab was created in 2009 to integrate clinical simulation as a quality and safety tool across the MGH. It now serves as a central resource for simulation-based training for essential skills including teamwork and communication, critical thinking and decision-making, and procedural, protocol and process skills. Moving forward, the lab and its affiliated community of practice will collaborate to develop the Lunder Learning Hospital as a consolidated platform for training across the entire workforce.
“We are all learners at heart and having shared experiential learning sessions has fostered improved relationships that translate into improved teamwork in the real clinical world,” says May Pian-Smith, MD, chief of the Division of Quality and Safety, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine. “It has been rewarding to work as a faculty member in the Learning Lab. Ultimately, it’s all good for patient safety, and it’s all good for clinician wellness and joy.”