Health matters held sway at Carson City’s Rotary Club luncheon gathering Tuesday, which featured a talk on simulated medical education and a few words from the mayor on this week’s Board of Health meeting.
Alisha Fong, University of Nevada Medical Center simulation technician specialist from the Reno campus, said simulated devices serve as patients to provide students working toward being doctors or nurses with hands-on experience in circumstances during which mistakes don’t take lives.
“It gives them experience,” she said, noting it comes as practical application of what is learned in classrooms prior to seeing live patients. “You want your staff to be completely prepared,” she said, so the student simulations offer an opportunity for “self-paced interaction” with life-like mannikins called Sim-man or Sim-mom. Sim-man, she said, cost $100,000 and Sim-mom $40,000. They are used in the UNR medical Sim Center.
The simulated medical education movement began at Stanford University in California, according to Fong, and has mushroomed as a training tool in recent years. She said Nevada has had the simulated instruction process in Las Vegas and Reno three years or more. Fong gave the instruction process high praise, but was less laudatory about the simulated devices.
“They break regularly during the most inopportune times,” she said. But she said the training means students face realistic situations such as dispensing drugs, handling emergency procedures, birth simulations or other situations that will be faced later in real life. “We can show them,”’ Fong explained in one example, “how this patient is going to react to a drug.”
Rotary Club president Anne Hansen, who handles public relations for Western Nevada College in Carson City, said after the luncheon meeting WNC has simulated patient devices as well for nursing students.
Before Fong’s talk, Mayor Robert Crowell gave a brief report on city government that included a reminder the Board of Supervisors and Board of Health meet Thursday in the Carson City Community Center’s Sierra Room. He said the board, which meets at 8:30 a.m., will reconstitute itself as the health board soon after with Health Officer Susan Pintar to review various reports and the state of city health affairs.
He told his fellow Rotarians the city’s Health and Human Services Department handles a host of things citizens may be unaware of, but which are of importance to the community’s present and future.