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U of M simulation training helps first responders deal with nerve agent exposure

A $3.4 million grant for the University of Minnesota’s SimPORTAL will fund a new research project designed to develop an optimal training protocol for military first responders that could also be used for civilian emergency personnel who may be called to a mass casualty site in the wake of nerve agent exposure.

The project provides participating first responders with state-of-the-art training for recognizing the signs of nerve agent exposure, as well as the knowledge and skills necessary to provide exposed patients with accurate clinical treatment.

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School of Nursing opens new simulation center

Yesterday, the University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing celebrated the opening of a new, state-of-the art education center for nursing and other health professional students.

The Bentson Healthy Communities Innovation Center will provide students with new opportunities to engage in complex simulated health scenarios in interprofessional teams, use sophisticated telehealth technology and learn emerging health records technology.

The center is named to honor the lead gift made by the Bentson Foundation, which contributed $3.7 million to the $7.8 million dollar project. A $1 million gift from the United Health Foundation and other generous donations enabled rapid construction, which began in May 2012.

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Steady progression

The University of Minnesota School of Nursing’s new Healthy Communities Innovation Center (HCIC) continues to progress toward completion.

For those who might be unfamiliar with the project, the HCIC is designed to greatly enhance the School’s ability to educate through innovate approaches.

Today, education simulation is recognized as a critically important educational method for effective knowledge and skill development and also aids student transition into practice.

The new HCIC will use a team approach and innovation to enhance the outcomes we can achieve through integrated, coordinated, safe, patient-centered and evidence-based care delivery.

The HCIC will also provide expanded opportunities for nursing and interprofessional collaboration to enhance quality, safety, care coordination, and continuity which are key to transforming nursing and health professional education and the health care system.

Stay tuned to the Health Talk Blog for future updates as the center closes in on its completion this fall. For more construction photos, click here.

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Video games…as homework?

Earlier this week, Tom Clancy, Ph.D., clinical professor and assistant dean for faculty practice, partnerships and professional development in the School of Nursing, joined KSTP’s Bill Lunn in-studio to discuss “serious gaming” – using interactive and educational video games that simulate health care scenarios and speed up training.

According to Clancy, the industry of video games created for a purpose other than entertainment – or “serious games” – is an exploding industry.

“The name serious gaming implies that they’re serious, but really what they are is a focus on training rather than the outcome being education,” Clancy told Lunn. “It’s a training program that’s designed in a gaming environment, so it brings in all the aspects of gaming, making it fun and enjoyable at the same time.”

Watch the KSTP interview, read about the research in the Star Tribune or watch this video from the U of M to learn more.

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