Thunder Bay

Practice makes perfect: Thunder Bay, Ont., hospital opens new simulation lab

A new simulation lab at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) will help the facility train the next generation of health care professionals.

Lab funded by group of Muslim physicians, can replicate multitude of scenarios for training purposes

L-R: Dr. Stewart Kennedy, Kendra Walt, Leanne Baird, Tracey Hill, Kelly Meservia-Collins, Valena Provenzano and Bruno Tassone at the official opening of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre's new Ibn Sina Simulation Lab. (TBRHSC/Supplied)

A new simulation lab at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) will help the facility train the next generation of health care professionals.

The Ibn Sina Simulation Lab was officially opened on Wednesday, May 15. The lab, which is located in the main hospital building, is capable of simulating a number of rare, high-stakes, and complex scenarios.

"As an academic health sciences centre, we are committed to teaching the next generation of health care professionals," Jean Bartkowiak, TBRHSC president and CEO, said in a statement. "In our strategic plan ... we set out to develop models and structures that would best enable teaching and research for physicians and health professionals, as well as to implement best practices in the delivery of education and knowledge transfer."

"This new simulation lab is a valuable addition to our hospital's teaching implements."

Multiple simulations available

The hospital said simulation training allows health care practitioners to acquire skills in a variety of clinical settings, without risking patient safety, said  Dr. Stewart Kennedy, TBRHSC vice-president.

"It's going to really enhance medical care," Kennedy told CBC News in an interview. "The way it can do that is by demonstrating, or showing our residents or medical learners — nurses, physicians, other professional staff — that they actually can learn through a simulated event in a safe environment, and then have constructive feedback."

Dr. Stewart Kennedy talks about the Ibn Sina Simulation Lab and the generous Muslim physicians that helped make it a reality. 8:22

The simulations will be run on a mannequin, and Kennedy said everything from cardiac arrests to surgery to childbirth can be simulated.

"It's also related to communications," he said. "We can actually bring in groups of physicians and nurses to look at ... how they react to different scenarios from a communication perspective."

Lab named after Muslim physician, astronomer

"We can do quality control with medication errors, and bringing teams of people in to see why this medication error occurred, how we can prevent it in the future."

The Ibn Sina Simulation Lab is named after a Muslim physician, astronomer, and philosopher. The lab was funded by a $500,000 donation from a group of Muslim physicians.

"Seeking knowledge is deeply rooted in each Muslim," Dr. Zaki Ahmed, TBRHSC chief of staff and member of the Muslim physician group, said in a statement. "Disseminating knowledge, using it to improve the general good, and leading others by example all resonates deeply with the Muslim mindset, and is also mirrored in the hospital's own vision."

"That shared commitment along with our sincere hope to give back to our profession, institution, and community at large, is what motivated each and every one of us to be a part of such a great project."

The lab will be open to hospital staff, and students at Lakehead University, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and Confederation College.