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Clinical Simulation Fund

Support innovative education through simulation

Starting an IV, suturing, inserting a catheter, or even learning how to resuscitate a trauma patient: students in health sciences must master a wide array of core skills as they work to become the best clinicians they can be.

At Queen’s Health Sciences, students currently use simulations to practice these critical skills in a controlled environment. Students train by performing elementary procedures on simple robot mannequins and using high-fidelity simulations to practice complex skills in team environments that mimic clinical settings.

These simulations are a valuable teaching tool, particularly when students have little to no experience. However, as students of medicine, nursing, or rehabilitation therapy progress through their studies, mannequins are not always realistic enough to help students progress their skills, leaving a gap between practicing in the simulation lab and treating a real patient. With new virtual and augmented reality technologies, it is becoming easier to help students bridge that gap.

Queen’s School of Medicine has launched Canada’s first Medical Virtual and Augmented Reality Research and Development Centre. Dr. Dan Howes, Director of the Virtual Reality Centre, explains that the new centre allows students to practice skills with a greater degree of realism. Today, too often, beginner mistakes are still being made on live patients—an outcome that is not good for the patient, student, or the system as a whole. The goal of the Virtual and Augmented Reality Centre is to have students make all those mistakes in simulated environments so that when they are ready to treat patients, they will be confident in their skills.

“It is important for students that the simulation is as lifelike as possible,” Dr. Howes notes, “The point isn't to get good at being in a simulator. The point is to be good at practicing medicine.”

By harnessing cutting-edge technologies, the School of Medicine is making it easier than ever for students to build their skills, confidence, and knowledge. Students are being supported to become the leading clinicians of the next generation and to provide outstanding care to their patients.

Join us in transforming the future of health sciences education when you contribute to the Clinical Simulation Fund.