Building Knowledge Through SIMSlink

Danielle Glaze, OMS IV

After competing in the American Medical Student Association’s National Sim Challenge in 2018, Danielle Glaze, OMS IV, was inspired to create what is now known as SIMSlink, a group of dedicated RVU students who organize hands-on workshop-style experiences for fellow students. During a workshop, teams of students rotate through clinical education stations taught by SIMSlink student instructors. These interactive events use high-fidelity manikin simulators to achieve realistic patient interactions and are designed to complement the COM, PA and MSBS curriculums.

On February 22nd, SIMSlink hosted an all-day workshop on diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA); the simulated case was that of an 18-year-old male presenting to the Emergency Department with nausea, vomiting and persistent abdominal pain. One of the goals of the workshop, created by SD Glaze, who is also a Pre-Doctoral Simulation Fellow, and Clarke Snodgrass, OMS IV, was to help students understand the presentation and prioritization of treatment for a patient with DKA. Student instructors were organized into specialized, simulated stations including “Diagnostic Lab Interpretation,” “Communication Simulation on Calling Consults,” and “High Fidelity Clinical Simulation.” During the workshop, students were also expected to recognize patient comfort as a goal of treatment.

The workshop was the first of two SIMSlink workshops to be included in the RVU Institutional Review Board-approved study titled “Multi-Modal Simulation-Based Workshops: Knowledge Acquisition and Knowledge Retention in First-Year Medical Students,” co-authored by SD Glaze, SD Snodgrass, Jessica Restad, OMS III, Hannah Chong, OMS II, and faculty members David Ross, DO, Associate Professor for the Office of SIMS, and Rebecca Ryznar, PhD, Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology. “[The study] assessed the effectiveness of our innovative…workshops by measuring immediate knowledge acquisition and knowledge retention in practicing first-year medical students,” explained SD Glaze.

The workshop and subsequent research project are just one of the many ways students and faculty on both campuses are working together to enhance simulation at RVU. SIMSlink has partnered with the Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery (SIMS), led by Susan Carter, MD, Director of SIMS, to create the SIMS Scholar Interest Group for students with a passion for simulation in healthcare. According to Dr. Carter, the Office of SIMS hopes to add other modalities to future simulation events and to the annual SIMS competition, such as Virtual Reality and Gaming, to further “advance RVU to the front of innovation and the latest technology for all five programs.”

To date, SIMSlink has hosted six workshops on cases such as intracranial hemorrhage with increased intracranial pressure, chest pain on the ward and ED, and acute abdominal pain. Once the current coronavirus pandemic has subsided, SIMSlink has plans to host a workshop related to the microbes and infectious disease course taught at RVU.

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