Simulation center shines in spotlight during KCON's 50th anniversary event

The Kirkhof College of Nursing celebrated its 50th anniversary and National Nurses Week with an eye toward the future by showcasing the high-tech Interprofessional Simulation Center.

About 60 faculty and staff, Grand Valley alumni and community members attended the May 8 event at the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health. 

Sherri Fannon, the new executive director of the simulation center, welcomed the audience and said the center's staff was eager to show off aspects of the 67,000-square-foot facility. Fannon served as a KCON faculty member for 18 years before stepping into this new role.

woman in white lab coat addresses audience in foreground
Sherri Fannon, executive director of the simulation center, addresses the audience gathered for a tour May 8 of the Interprofessional Simulation Center.
Image credit - Ashley Cefali

The tour highlighted the center's simulated hospital suite, immersive interaction technology suite and the anatomy lab with its anatomage table, which allows for 3D anatomy visualization and virtual dissection. 

Standardized patients – people trained to portray patients with different diagnoses – were available to talk about the roles they have played and their interactions with students. 

Fannon said simulation initially began in the aviation industry in the 1970s, when communication problems between pilots and co-pilots led to plane crashes. 

"Health care adopted simulation later. Communication is often the reason there are adverse effects with patient care. Simulation allows students to practice in a safe setting," she said.

Matt Collver describes the anatomage table, which projects a 3D image of a body
Matt Collver, operations manager, describes the anatomage table in the anatomy lab.
Image credit - Ashley Cefali
Tour participants look at the plastinated specimens in the anatomy lab in the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health.
Tour participants look at the plastinated specimens in the anatomy lab in the simulation center in the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health.
Image credit - Ashley Cefali

Chuck Otto has worked as a standardized patient since 2016. He said it's been remarkable to see the growth of the simulation center. "It's been fascinating to watch as new equipment is added," said Otto, who has a background in corporate communications. 

Sharon Baker, standardized patient program manager, said simulations are planned not to "stump students" but as educational opportunities. 

"It's OK if a student doesn't know the answer, or doesn't know why a patient or a mannequin is reacting a certain way," Baker said. "Going through these simulations in the time they are students here helps boost their confidence levels when they get into the workplace."

KCON held several events throughout the year to recognize its 50th anniversary year .


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