The public will be able to “meet the manikins” as Hill Country Memorial hosts a grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Debbye Dooley Simulation Lab from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, June 30.

The SimLab is located behind the main hospital complex off Windcrest Drive.

Cindy Loeffler, RN, HCM SimLab Coordinator, will introduce the newest training aids in the form of “Dave,” “Patricia,” and “Simon” — high-fidelity manikins designed to help create realistic emergency scenarios in a range of medical conditions for clinical teams, staff, first responders, nursing students and community partners.

The three computer-controlled manikins can be programmed to represent a range of patient profiles:

“Dave” is designed to train staff on delivering advanced life support. The operator can adjust heart rate, heart rhythm and breathing rate, for example.

“Patricia” is a Sim Mom  used to prepare staff for delivery complications.

“Simon” represents a newborn.

The use of real names underlines the level of realism the trainers are trying to create.

“One thing I’ve pressed upon all of those being trained is that Dave is ‘real,’” Loeffler said. “He has a real name, so we have to treat him like a real patient.”

During the open house, visitors will be able to view the manikins and look into the Control Room. Loeffler plans to simulate a “code” — an emergency when teams must assess the situation and determine what further steps are required, including summoning a resuscitation team.

“Physicians and nurses are going to be participating, along with members of both clinical and non-clinical teams,” Loeffler said. “I really want the public to understand what happens when you call a code and to see what the SimLab can do.”

HCM will use the SimLab to train any team member that will encounter a patient and make the SimLab available for training purposes to nursing students, area schools, community organizations, and local first responders.

“It is important we take care of our community, that we work with our teams to be the most effective health care employees,” Loeffler said. “That’s our job — to be advocates for health care and pass along our knowledge and training.”



Funding for the Sim Lab was made possible by Debbye Dooley, who established the Debbye Dooley Simulation Lab Fund at the Foundation for HCM, along with generous gifts from community members.

Dooley was a long-time HCM team member who was an advocate for ongoing employee education as a way to improve health care. She was committed to ensuring all involved in healthcare had the tools and training needed to deliver remarkable care for the Hill Country.

“The foundation was extremely generous in providing us with this training opportunity,” Loeffler said. “HCM is the only Level 4 Trauma Center in the area that offers this level of technology to its staff.”

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