This morning, leadership from the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Mercy Hospital Springfield and Cox Health gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Springfield Clinical Campus Simulation Center while also marking the fifth anniversary of MU’s clinical campus in Springfield.
The center, located within the Springfield Clinical Campus, is a state-of-the-art training center for medical procedures. The center features training tools such as virtual reality devices with the ability to simulate more than 110 medical scenarios. It has computerized patient mannequins that give real-time feedback in the same way a human patient would. The mannequins breathe, have a pulse, have eyes that dilate and can react to various drugs. Facilitators are trained to assist with on-site setup and assistance for each session, and patient actors can be employed to make learning experiences even more realistic and effective.
“The sim center provides the opportunity for health care providers to practice high-risk patient events in an environment that is controlled and safe,” said Dena Higbee, MU’s clinical simulation center director. “The active training leaves providers better prepared, improves team dynamics found in real health care environments and encourages students and professionals to become lifelong learners.”
Especially in rural areas of the state, limited funding can make it challenging for hospitals and clinics to purchase high-tech training equipment. The Springfield Clinical Campus has made the simulation center available to the community beyond just medical students. From first-responders and law enforcement officers to community college and vocational program students, the training can be tailored to fit the needs of a wide variety of learners.
“To have the Shelden Clinical Simulation Center here in southwest Missouri is an amazing opportunity for all types of learners — from novices to experts — who will use this center and its high-tech equipment to further improve upon their health care skills in a safe setting,” said David Haustein, MD, associate dean of the Springfield Clinical Campus. “From CPR and intubation to point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) and laparoscopy, our trainees and health care professionals from Mercy, CoxHealth, Missouri State and others are using these resources.”
Beyond technical procedural skills, the simulation center also helps health care professionals in training to practice communication skills, situational awareness, professionalism, compassion, respect, collaborative teamwork and ethical behavior.
The MU School of Medicine opened the second clinical campus in Springfield in 2016 in an initiative to train more physicians for Missouri. The campus is a public/private partnership with CoxHealth and Mercy hospitals and doctors to provide patient-centered care for the people of the state and beyond. Over 90% of Springfield clinical campus students are Missouri residents and are anticipated to return to Missouri after residency.