Knorr Simulation Lab at California State University, Fresno – Dept. of Nursing
Welcome to ‘The Knorr Simulation Lab’ at California
State University, Fresno. My name is Marie Gilbert and I am the Simulation Coordinator.
The Knorr Simulation lab has three main rooms: The main lab area containing 4 bed spaces,
the control room, and the debrief room, and is equipped with state of the art manikins
and audio-visual equipment. We have adult, child and baby manikins. This
allows us to provide a wide range of simulated clinical experiences for our students.
The manikins are amongst the most advanced available; they can talk, cry and cough. They
blink and their chests move as they breathe. Built-in equipment allows students to listen
to authentic heart, breath and bowel sounds. They even have pulses which can be felt.
Audio visual equipment includes overhead cameras and microphones at each bed space and a large
screen TV in the debrief room for viewing live video from the lab. We have the ability
to record and play back video of the students during their simulation experience.
Once a scenario has been developed, the lab is set up to provide environmental and psychological
realism. The manikin is prepared to resemble the patient in the scenario. This may include
the use of wigs, and make up, together with any appropriate medical prompts such as patient
wrist bands, and medical notes. Typically 2 or 3 students will be directly
involved with each simulation. They receive a report from the facilitator and then begin
to provide care for the patient as if they were in the clinical environment.
The Simulation Lab allows the students to integrate the theory they’ve covered in the
classroom with the clinical skills they’ve learned in the Nursing Resource Center. The
simulation lab provides a ‘safe’ environment in which students can develop their clinical
skills. It exposes students to clinical situations
they will encounter during their nursing career and allows them to make clinical decisions
about patient care. The manikins’ response is directly related to the students’ interventions.
Just as in the clinical environment, sometimes the manikin improves and other times it doesn’t.
During the simulation the students not directly involved with the scenario watch the live
video in the debrief room. This provides a different perspective and promotes good discussion
during the simulation debrief. [Student] Now the he’s re-accessing we should
probably hear no wheezing right? [Student] No The computers that control the manikins and
the AV equipment are managed from the control room. The manikins are manipulated so they
respond appropriately to the students’ actions. Some of the variables that can be adjusted
include heart rate, respiration rate and breath sounds.
There are two types of voices that originate in the control room. One is the voice of the
manikin, which is used to respond to students questions, and the other is an overhead voice
that is used to provide additional information to the students, for example lab results.
[Manikin] I feel much better thank you. [Student] Excellent, you let me know if comes
back again and we can give you the same thing. OK.
[Manikin] OK [Student] Alright
A debriefing session follows each simulation. During the debriefing we have the ability
to play back video recorded during the scenario so that students can observe themselves in
action. Students reflect on their experiences, either as an observer or participant, and
identify things that went well and things that they would do differently if they experienced
a similar situation again. Simulation provides experiential learning
without putting patients at risk. This safe environment allows students the freedom to
make mistakes without serious consequences. By providing our nursing students with this
learning experience, we are able to develop their confidence, clinical reasoning and problem-solving
skills. These abilities will equip them to provide high-quality patient care as they
move through our program and into their nursing career.