Northwestern Center for Clinical Simulation
The Department of Anesthesiology runs the Northwestern Center for Clinical Simulation (NCCS) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The NCCS was created to further enhance medical education and patient safety and more recently to provide ABA MOCA for Anesthesiologists. This state-of the-art center benefits not only the educational programs of Northwestern University's Anesthesiology Department but also brings unique educational opportunities to the entire Northwestern medical community and beyond. For the December 2011 podcast for OpenAnesthesia.org, the Director of NCCS, Dr. Christine Park, was interviewed on "Simulation training, undergraduate and graduate medical education." See the article and video here.
Within the NCCS is a patient simulator- a sophisticated, computerized, life-size mannequin that mimics many of the physiologic responses of patients receiving care in such settings as the operating room, emergency room, and the intensive care unit. A computer drives the mannequin's responses, including changes in blood pressure, cardiac output, respiratory pattern, palpable pulses, and papillary response to light stimulation. The instructor can select from a vast number of possible patient profiles to demonstrate human response to a variety of situations ranging from basic physiology to the more complex physiology of aging, pregnancy, and disease. Participants, either individually or in groups, then perform medical interventions that include more than 50 intravenous medications to elicit realistic pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic responses from the mannequin.
During their experience at the NCCS, participants will conduct “patient care” in a controlled environment, while an instructor monitors and controls the physiologic outcomes of the “Patient.” Performances are videotaped so participants and instructors can later review and discuss the experience. The NCCS is permanently housed within an actual operating suite, giving an authentic feel to the educational experience. A separate conference room is used for discussions, review of sessions, and additional study.