Skip to Content

Published on November 02, 2009

New simulation lab at Mercy provides real-life scenarios for healthcare workers

CEDAR RAPIDS - A new simulation laboratory at Mercy Medical Center, 701 10th St. SE, is giving patient caregivers a hands-on tool to practice and respond to emergent and real life scenarios in a safe and controlled environment. The McIntyre Simulation Laboratory is unique to the Cedar Rapids area in that it is hospital-based and has a full-time staff member dedicated to its operation.

The new lab is a designated area within the hospital identical to an actual acute care patient room. It contains a state-of-the-art, full-scale, interactive patient simulator (Sim Man). The lab can be used by any hospital staff members, including nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, lab technicians-and even students. It's designed to improve patient care and increase the knowledge base and ongoing competency of staff.

Sim Man, a full-scale interactive patient simulator, is the cornerstone of the teaching lab. He mimics a real person and can be programmed to exhibit a wide variety of symptoms and give feedback and response to treatment interventions.

"This lab provides the ideal teaching and learning environment," says Lisa Thuerhauf, RN, MSN, McIntyre Simulation Lab Specialist at Mercy. "This allows us to further that important continuum of learning-taking what you know from the textbook to the bedside. It allows a nurse, for example, to practice managing a difficult airway and critically think about the next steps. We can program Sim Man to exhibit a wide variety of medical symptoms, complete with sounds."

A $100,000 donation from the late Scotty McIntyre, the McIntyre Foundation, and United Fire and Casualty Company, helped fund the simulation lab and pay for ongoing costs.

The McIntyre Simulation Lab will be open for demonstrations to hospital employees and the media on Thurs., Oct. 29, from 4 to 6 p.m. Hospital employees are also invited to help kick off a naming contest to give Sim Man a name.