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Barrie hospital opens new Centre for Education and Research

Facility will bring together health-care professionals and students from a wide range of disciplines

There are some creepy things going on at the Barrie hospital, all in the name of gaining knowledge.

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) officially opened its new Centre for Education and Research on Tuesday, complete with high-tech and interactive dummies that will be used as teaching tools for a variety of health-care professionals in the coming years.

Around 1,300 students come through RVH each year.

The new centre includes a simulation lab, a classroom, a mock training room, a student lounge and office space to make it a multi-functional, purpose-built space.

“We’ll learn together like we practise together,” said Dr. Chris Martin, RVH’s clinical director of medical education.

The centre’s sim lab will allow students to diagnose a “patient” using a life-like dummy, complete with eyes that can have the dilation changed, to the introduction of liquids and making of sounds. Teachers can observe students and control some of the dummy’s actions from the next room.

“Honestly, it seems like yesterday that I was pulling our simulator out of a closet outside of emerg and onto a stretcher, wheeling ‘Stan’ through the hallways, terrifying visitors and finding an empty room to set up a simulation for residents, nurses and physicians,” Martin said. “And now look where we’re at.”

There are now three dummies to work with in the lab, including iStan (adult), Pediasim (child) and Babysim (baby).

The new centre will bring together people from a wide range of disciplines.

“We have this wonderful space where learners, clinicians and medical professionals from all backgrounds, not only from our hospital but from our region, can come and simulate difficult cases, certify in a wide variety of courses and research important questions,” Martin said. “Overall, they will become better at caring for the patients in our community.”

The RVH Foundation committed $1 million to support the project through its Hearts and Minds campaign.

The centre began as a “pipe dream” in 2015, said Dr. Chris Tebbutt, vice-president of academic and medical affairs at RVH.

“This has been a very long journey,” Tebbutt said. “There were times I didn’t think we would get to today. We’ve come a long way in a few years.

“Teaching and research are now very much part of our fabric and our culture,” he added.

Hospital president and CEO Janice Skot thanked everyone for their attention to detail in creating the new centre.

“Just creating a space that’s officially dedicated for education and research means that people will come together and more importantly in an informal way than even in a formal way,” Skot said.

“We’re going to create hallway conversations and drop-ins and points of collaboration we might not have thought of in their cubby holes where we tried to put so many people over the years,” she added.


Raymond Bowe

About the Author: Raymond Bowe

Raymond is an award-winning journalist who has been reporting from Simcoe County since 2000
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