Lifespan’s Medical Simulation Center Gives High-school Students Hands-on Experience

September 10, 2014

Pictured (left to right) Bailey Willett, Huntington, VT; Ethan Queen, Poquoson, VA; Alec Darger, Brookings, OR; Duffy Zimmerman, North Tonawanda, NY; Esteban Aleman, Quintas Del Rey, Puerto Rico; Joe Lang, Poughkeepsie, NY; and Cameron Long, Schenectady, NY.

Since June, some 300 high school students from around the world have each spent three hours in Lifespan’s Medical Simulation Center as part of a national program that exposes teens to a career in health care. Called the National Youth Leadership Forum, the program brings students, who are mainly sophomores and juniors, together to spend a week participating in the Careers in Medicine conference, which provide students with behind-the-scenes access to the field of medicine.

According to John Callahan, MS, administrative manager for Lifespan’s Medical Simulation Center, exposing students to real world medical situations gives them a true understanding of what it’s like to treat patients. “It’s exciting to see how the kids react to the different scenarios we have them participate in. We truly have them become part of the action and make decisions about the care being administered,” he said. “This is the sixth year that we’ve participated in this program, which is so rewarding for students and for our team.”

The Lifespan Medical Simulation Center began operating in 2002. Located in the Coro West Building, the center is composed of 4,200 square feet of training and assessing space and is the largest facility of its type in southern New England.

The group of students visiting on July 26 not only learned about CPR, but also they experienced what it would be like to treat three different patients in an emergency department setting. In one scenario they cared for a teenager who had been injured in car accident, in another they treated a father suffering a heart attack and in the third they helped an infant who needed to be intubated. All procedures were done on the center’s high-tech mannequins.


In addition to Callahan, who provided students with an overview of medical simulation and CPR, many other staff members also participated including: Marleny Franco, M.D., and Mariann Nocera, M.D., who are both pediatric emergency medicine fellows at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Andrew Buksar, R.N., BSN, CEN, professional nurse 1 in the Rhode Island Hospital emergency department; Mark Jones, simulation specialist; Max Dannecker, NREMT, intermediate, simulation specialist; and David Auchenbach, simulation specialist.

Learn more about the Lifespan Medical Simulation Center

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