Learning Resources

Simulation and Procedure Labs

Simulation is a rapidly evolving area of medical education and plays an integral role in healthcare training. Use of simulation for training is uniquely suited to Emergency Medicine given the broad spectrum of illness and pathology encountered and the requirement for proficiency in numerous procedural skills. Management of critically ill patients, efficient use of treatment algorithms, and team leadership skills are only a few of the essential proficiencies that are taught and practiced using medical simulation.

Iowa has dedicated faculty with special expertise and focus on simulation education. The program uses a full family of Gaumard mannequins comprised of infant, child, and adult high fidelity mannequins to meet our diverse educational needs.  Case content offers learners the opportunity to encounter a broad variety of clinical scenarios including "bread and butter" emergency medicine cases as well as some specialty scenarios such as mass casualty incidents and skills training with social medicine topics. Faculty and residents will also particpate in and develop skills in strutured debriefing after all simulation scenarios.     

During the introduction month for PGY-I, a large amount of time is dedicated to medical, trauma, critical care, and procedural simulation to prepare residents to begin caring for patients in the Emergency Department. Throughout residency, simulation is used to reinforce concepts in patient care and teamwork.

Simulation faculty are continually working to expand the role of simulation for education. In addition to use of simulation during resident conference, the department also participates in in-situ scenarios that take place during clinical shifts and allows the emergency department team to practice together. Residents will also participate in a friendly annual SimWars competition.   

Residents with a special interest in simulation are encouraged to work with our simulation faculty to develop simulation-based modules and to conduct simulation or related research that would prepare them to pursue a career in simulation-based education after residency.

Procedure labs are incorporated throughout the residency to augment the procedural skills that residents attain during clinical practice. The residency uses several high and low fidelity “task-trainers” including “The Central Line Man System,” “The Trauma Man System,” and various airway trainers to practice common procedures such as central line placement, chest tube placement, defibrillation/cardioversion and cardiac pacing, paracentesis, thoracentesis, lumbar puncture and basic and advanced emergency airway management. The residents also participate in slit-lamp labs, ENT procedure labs, splinting workshops, and vascular access workshops on a regular basis. The department arranges a cadaver lab annually to practice less common procedures such as thoracotomy, lateral canthotomy, tranvenous pacemaker placement, cricothyrotomy, arthrocentesis, and airway device exchanges.