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They're no dummies: These high-tech manikins help to train staff at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital has opened a high-tech classroom that will allow WellSpan clinical staff to improve and apply their patient care skills

The Dart Foundation Clinical Simulation Lab includes two life-size, interactive manikins, “Sim Man” and “Sim Mom,” which can simulate particular breathing patterns, heart rates, bowel sounds, or other symptoms associated with illnesses or health care problems.

By observing and interacting with the manikins, clinicians can get hands-on training in providing care to patients who are in cardiac arrest, giving birth, having an asthma attack, suffering a diabetic emergency and experiencing a wide variety of other health care issues.

The lab, which is on the second floor of the hospital, is expected to provide annual training to about 600 staff members, including nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, paramedics and other clinicians.

"With this new simulation lab, our clinical staff can learn by doing, in a safe environment," said Tina Citro, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital. "We are grateful to our donors for providing the opportunity for staff to practice their skills, work together as a team and get immediate feedback on what they did."

The lab has videotape equipment that can capture training as it occurs in the lab. The lab includes a room with video monitors and a space for staff to gather, watch their training sessions and be debriefed by instructors.

Supported by the Ephrata Community Health Foundation, the $300,000 classroom was funded by donations and grants, including a $50,000 grant from the Dart Foundation as well as gifts from community donors and WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital physicians and staff.

The Ephrata Community Health Foundation is a community-based, not-for-profit corporation that exists to inspire gifts and grants to support the health and well-being of northern Lancaster County residents. The Dart Foundation, a private family foundation established by Dart Container Corporation founder William A. Dart and his wife Claire T. Dart, supports projects that enhance education, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, and those that improve the quality of life in specific communities.

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