The Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) Simulation Lab has been credited as a game changer in helping train health care workers to better handle COVID-19 pandemic crisis situations.

The SMH Simulation Lab allows learners to practice high risk, low-frequency procedures – such as trauma from a car accident, or how to care for a patient in a pandemic – in a safe, risk-free environment. Simulation encourages team training, by building on teamwork and communication skills, identifying roles or practicing use of protocols during a crisis or code blue situations. The SMH Simulation Lab supports health care workers, hospital staff, students, social workers, lab technicians and other learning groups such as community first responders. The lab space includes 3 high tech rooms, 2 debrief rooms, 3 skills rooms, and a virtual reality surgical room.

In 2020 alone, the SIM Lab completed more than 2,400 hours of simulation education and more than 800 simulation sessions. Between March and June 2020, the SIM Lab conducted 217 COVID-19 process simulations and trained over 900 hospital staff, using scenarios that were developed based on current pandemic guidelines from the Emergency Operations Committee. These simulations occurred in emergency, intensive care, cardiac care, medical/surgical cohort units, COVID-19 testing centers and involved interdisciplinary participation.

Surrey Hospitals Foundation has contributed a total of $1.3 million to the SMH Simulation Lab, including seed funding in 2015. We are proud to continue supporting this important education program to help improve the quality of our health care and health outcomes for patients. Some of the innovative pieces we have purchased recently include pediatric mannequins for simulations that support the pediatric emergency department, Children’s Health Centre, and pediatric psychiatry. To date, these mannequins have been used in more than 60 simulations and over 110 hours of clinical training since they were purchased in 2020.

The SMH simulation Lab is one of two regional simulation centres supporting the Fraser Health region. It is a partnership between Surrey Memorial Hospital, Fraser Health and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine.

“Our Simulation Lab has been very successful in training and preparing health care workers in various emergency situations and ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it has been instrumental in helping frontline hospital staff handle crisis situations,” says Lisa Ewart, Clinical Practice Consultant and Simulation Program Lead in Fraser Health.

“In addition, our Simulation Lab has facilitated and identified ongoing improvements in health care procedures, especially related to COVID-19, that has been adopted and implemented across the region.”

The Simulation Lab also takes part in the Surrey Hospital Foundation’s Mini Med School education program which gives high school students an opportunity to explore a variety of medical specialties with small-group workshops with physicians and technicians.

With your support, we are able to invest in these innovative technologies and programs to enhance patient care here in Surrey. Thank you.

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