Calgary Health Trust


A patient comes into emergency complaining about not being able to breathe. They are pale, confused and appear to be in shock. They have just been in an automobile accident. Suddenly, they begin to cough up blood - a sign of internal bleeding. They are panicking and go unconscious. What happens next?

No two situations are identical, especially when dealing with patients - whether it's in emergency, labour and delivery, surgery or during a routine procedure, any situation can happen at any time. And if it happens to you, or someone close to you, don't you want to know that the clinicians are trained and prepared to work together in order to create the best possible outcome?

Simulation technology has been traditionally used to train and prepare for high-risk situations, such as flight and military scenarios. For clinicians, it also presents the opportunity to practice routine procedures and fine-tune skills with a multidisciplinary team in a safe environment so that when the time comes, they are ready to handle any situation.

A team of health care and education professionals from Alberta Health Services, University of Alberta, University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge are leading this initiative to bring medical simulation training to Alberta. Members from Mount Royal University, SAIT, Bow Valley College and STARS will join this group to bring an end to end approach to care through collaboration.

Building on excellence - On-Site Simulation Training Centres

One of the most important aspects of simulation is team dynamics in training. No one knows the complex situations that can happen better than the people who see them on the front line. Within on-site simulation centres, clinicians are able to lead training based on scenarios they've seen, heard or predict to happen at their hospital with the people they work beside day-to-day. It will provide a risk-free, supportive environment where complex aspects of patient care can be recreated and practiced.

Having access to simulation training at every hospital will mean that where ever medical personnel are working, training is now an integral part of their practice. For clinicians, having access to simulation training at their location lessens the demand it takes on their time - time they spend with patients. It is the difference between a day away or two hours.

The Peter Lougheed Simulation Centre is the first to be rolled out in Calgary's four hospitals, creating a blue print for what each site will look like. The facility includes a 'family' of mannequins who can mimic a variety of trauma, clinical and common scenarios in a risk-free, supportive environment to help staff at Peter Lougheed Centre prepare for real-life situations. This will allow health care professionals, no matter their discipline, profession, unit or level of experience, the opportunity to develop new skills in a safe environment, without exposing real patients to risk.

Training to be the best - The Advanced Technical Skills and Simulation Laboratory

On-site eSIM™ training centres and The Advanced Technical Skills and Simulation Laboratory (ATSSL) will make Calgary a leader in medical simulation training. The ATSSL will house everything in one location. It will be one of the most comprehensive centres for simulation medical training that exists today. Learners will have access to several distinct training environments, all under a single roof.

 The ATSSL will provide a safe and realistic training centre for learners to perfect their skills and gain the confidence they need to handle real-life situations. Experienced clinicians will also have access to the equipment necessary to hone their skills and techniques. Through this centre, Health Research Innovation Centre at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, health care education in Alberta will be among the best in North America.

Alberta is leading the nation with its approach to simulation training. Recognizing both the need for centralized, specialized labs and on-site training facilities Calgary Health Trust, the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services have partnered in a $16.8 million strategy to ensure this opportunity is available to every clinician and student in our city.

To donate to this project or for additional information, please email or call 403-943-0615.