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Naples opens simulation center for hands-on medical experience

Posted at 8:49 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 20:49:55-04

NAPLES, Fla. — The constant beep of a heart monitor, heavy breathing, and sometimes tears. That’s what the inside of Naples Community Hospital’s newest simulation center looks and sounds like.

Dr. Douglas Harrington says when NCH doctors, nurses and residents walk into this simulation center, he wants them to get what they didn’t get in a classroom.

“It is a very big step to go from the classroom to the bedside. Oftentimes people are nervous, anxious. They may know it here (points to head), but it may not have gotten here (rubs fingers together),” he said.

He’s the Medical Director of the Judith and Marvin Herb Family Simulation Center. He says students only retain about 10 - 15 percent of what they’re taught in a classroom. But, simulation boosts their retention rate exponentially.

“Have them practice in an exact mock-up of a hospital room, make it as realistic as possible, they’ll remember between 80 and 90 percent of it,” he said.

Dr. Harrington also says simulation practices have helped during the pandemic.

“One of the things that can help a person with COVID pneumonia, his to turn them onto their stomach called a prone position,” he said. “This takes a team of 6-8 people to do. We actually use simulation principles in a mannequin in the ICU to teach a team to do that.”

The simulation center is mainly for NCH doctors and residents. But, Dr. Harrington says they’ll invite firefighters, police officers and school nurses from Collier County who have students with chronic illnesses. He says it’s to better prepare the community for medical emergencies that may come up.