Simulator Center

Anesthesia Simulation Center
Clark J. Obr, MD

Message from the Director

The mission of the Simulation Center in the Department of Anesthesia at the University of Iowa is to advance the practice of perioperative medicine and patient safety through simulation driven learning.  The Center was founded in 1998. Since that time, the department has developed educational programming for RNs, SRNAs, CRNAs, medical students, residents, fellows and faculty.The Simulation Center operates within the Department of Anesthesia, and as such, nearly all programming is related to perioperative care, pain management or intensive care. The Simulation Center is maintained by a senior operations manager who coordinates and maintains the Center’s activities.The Simulation Center houses both low- and high-fidelity infant and adult patient simulators and an echocardiography simulator. The Center routinely uses hybrid simulation with both standardized patients and low-fidelity task trainers to help enhance learner’s simulation experience.

Anesthesia Residency Program

The Department’s core simulation program is large; the residents can expect to participate in approximately 40 core simulations during their training. This is achieved by a core group of faculty who have extensive experience with simulation design, debriefing methodology, and anesthesiology core content. These faculty also can be called upon to facilitate joint teaching experiences, with other department’s trainees participating alongside our own. 

The Department offers a one month elective in simulation for residents in the second year of training.  During this rotation, residents learn:

  • Simulation theory and design
  • Teaching medical students and peers
  • To develop a novel simulation experience for the department’s expanding curriculum

Continuing Medical Education Programs

The Department coordinates and runs several Continuing Medical Education programs each year, including:

  • Crisis resource management with the focus on improving OR safety by practicing to improve communication and teamwork skills with perioperative staff
  • Skills workshops for refinement of technical skills and orientation to new products
  • Simulated proficiency evaluations sessions as part of the hospital-wide Deep Sedation privileging requirements for licensed independent practitioners
  • Simulation activities are a routine part of many symposia offered each year, including conferences on obstetrics and regional anesthesia
  • The Department works closely with surgical departments that wish to use the center for enhancement of their educational programs
  • Biannually, the Department co-sponsors an instructor development course for professionals across all specialties, with the goal of developing champions of simulation and novel programming across the institution

Medical Students Program

Medical students rotating through Anesthesia and Intensive Care experience simulation-based learning in the Simulation Center, including:

  • Team Training simulation,  emphasizing communication skills and patient management in critical situations
  • Skills session overviewing IV techniques and airway management

SRNA Program

The nurse anesthetist training program utilizes simulation for incoming students by offering the following:

  • Basic anesthesia skills practice
  • Team simulations designed to practice communication