Simulation in the Curriculum

The use of simulation combines both didactic and clinical training. Simulation is used throughout the program to enhance the attainment of programmatic goals. Such activities include the following lab practica:

First year students

  • Basic airway management
  • Alternative airway management
  • Patient positioning
  • Preoperative patient assessment
  • Non-invasive monitoring
  • Anesthesia equipment and cart set-up
  • Anesthesia machine check
  • Induction of general anesthesia
  • Basics of ultrasonography
  • Vascular assessment with ultrasonography
  • Vascular access with and without ultrasound-guidance

Second year students

  • Advanced clinical seminars
  • Advanced anatomy/cadaver lab
  • Ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia workshop
  • Vascular access with and without ultrasound-guidance 

Third year students

Human Factors and Patient Safety DNAP 701 is a 15-week course that covers the advanced concepts and principles related to anesthesia crisis resource management (ACRM). The course provides graduate student nurse anesthetists the opportunity for hands-on experience managing critical clinical situations, which include overseeing the environment and working effectively with operating room team members. Student learners are video-taped as they manage an unfolding emergency while their classmates learn alongside them as observing participants. Immediately after the ‘patient’s’ critical condition has been rectified, the video is used in a debriefing session to explore the learner's experience and to discuss, as a group, factors that may have contributed to the crisis.

Other Learners

For many years, CRNAs from around the country have traveled to VCU to experience Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management training in the Center for Research in Human Simulation. Attendees receive reading material and information about the course before arriving to the Center to prepare them for this intensive training. During this full one- or two-day course, attendees assimilate the principles learned in the readings with hands-on management of high-fidelity simulated anesthesia crises. The Center has hosted graduate nurse anesthesia students from Northeastern University, Old Dominion University and East Carolina University to name a few. The Center also offers opportunities for crisis management training for CRNAs seeking continuing education credits for recertification.

Dr. Damico teaching ultrasound lab