Celebrating ten years in existence, RVU’s simulation program was expanded and renamed the Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery (SIMS) in 2019. Over 16,000 square feet of space in Colorado and over 10,000 square feet in Utah is dedicated to hands-on education to all members of the healthcare team, to learners at many stages of their careers. Medical and Physician Assistant students gain experience in ultrasonography, vascular access, sterile surgical technique, perioperative care and simulated hospital rounds. EMS and Paramedic students practice resuscitation techniques, intubation and cricothyrotomy. General Surgery Residents hone their skills at trauma laparotomies, while Family Medicine Residents improve their gynecologic procedural and wound care capabilities. Practicing physicians can refine Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery techniques. Simulation events are being added to the curricula of all programs at RVU at both campuses and included in Special Track Programs, Student Clubs and Organizations and Community Outreach Events.
RVU’s Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery has the distinction of being recognized as a Comprehensive Accredited Education Institute (AEI) by the American College of Surgeons. It is the first osteopathic medical school to receive this prestigious accreditation. Rigorous reporting metrics are involved in the Annual Compliance Report and Accreditation cycles, overseen by the SIMS Advisory Board.
Acquiring and incorporating various levels of technology every year, RVU faculty often teaches surgical technique using a human-worn, partial task surgical simulator known as a “Cut Suit™”. RVU was the first medical school in the country to employ this technology. The Cut Suit is a lifelike, wearable bodysuit that contains battery-operated, blood-filled vessels and organs, producing the accurate look and feel of actual intra-abdominal and intra-thoracic contents. Learners gain realistic surgical experience and confidence. The Cut Suit™ is also used in simulated disaster scenarios and Mass Casualty Incidents, including at an Intensive Surgical Skills Course attended by First Responders and military students and personnel. Numerous interactive electronic mannikins are programmed for Internal Medicine, Obstetric, Pediatric and neonatal case scenarios and simulation competitions. Cadaveric simulations improve training in numerous disciplines. Increasingly, RVU’s 3D printer is utilized for production of anatomical body part facsimiles.
Standardized Patient Program
Specially trained actors, Standardized Patients, accurately portray the role of a patient with a specific medical condition. They provide students with direct human interaction in a safe learning environment. Performing a competent physical exam, taking a thorough medical history, and building a rapport with patients are fundamental clinical skills that all graduates should possess. RVU’s Standardized Patient Program’s primary objective is to ensure that all graduates possess these essential skills. Feedback is given by faculty, staff, as well as the standardized Patient Educators, and is valued by students in their health care education.
Simulation research is robust at RVU. Researchers at the Office of SIMS present abstracts, posters and papers in many conferences and conventions nationally and internationally. The Office of SIMS assists students in medical simulation research including obtaining equipment, IRB submissions, submitting to conferences, and connecting students with local hospitals, police and fire departments. Interested students can also participate in the Sim Scholar program, providing additional simulation mentoring. Numerous students participate in the annual Simulation Team Competition and can advance to Regional and National events.
In the News
- RVU Honored by the Town of Parker and South Metro Fire Rescue
- South Metro first responders train for active shooter situation
- “This is necessary now”: First responders conduct mass-shooting drills at Denver-area churches
- The Importance of Healthcare Simulation
- Military Students Participate in Annual Cut Suit Week
- RVU Celebrates Healthcare Simulation Week
- Multi-agency active shooter simulation held at RVU
- RVU’s Institute of Medical and Surgical Simulation Granted Continued Accreditation
- Ready for the worst in the wild (Parker Chronicle)
- RVU students test medical skills (Parker Chronicle)
- Hyper-realistic training immerses RVUCOM students in surgery scenarios (The DO Magazine)
- See One, Do One, Teach One (MedSim)
- 25 Medical Students Come to San Diego for Real-Life Training (KPBS Channel 97.7)
- Prepping Surgeons Sooner (5280 Magazine)
- Rocky Vista University in Parker finds new ways to train doctors (Denver Post)
- An attempt at zero G surgery (Parker Chronicle)