Siimulation at the DavenportUnlike her typical day facilitating simulations with undergraduate nursing students, Kevin Stevens, director for the Center for the Clinical Performance and Simulation program at WSU College of Nursing, conducted two simulations for nurse anesthetists at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, WA. The simulation sessions were part of the 2014 NW States Anesthesia Conference, hosted by the Washington Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Partnering with Laerdal, a manikin manufacturer, Stevens ran two scenarios: difficult airway and Malignant hyperthermia. More than 140 nurse anesthetists participated in the simulation sessions.

“Knowing how to respond to situations like malignant hyperthermia, a disease that causes individuals to respond negatively to general anesthesia, is critical for every nurse anesthetist to know,” Stevens said. “However, many nurse anesthetists do not have the opportunity to treat patients with this condition.” The simulation allowed attendees to provide appropriate care to treat a patient experiencing this condition.

Normally simulations conducted at the college involve four student participants and fellow students watch in an adjacent observation room. At this conference, Stevens managed approximately 70 attendees in each simulation. In order to engage the audience, the simulation was paused at decision points where participants discussed treatment options and next steps to best care for the patient.

“The goal of the simulation is to present potential health care situations to nurse anesthetists, so they can watch the process, learn from it, and update their own practices,” Stevens said. Attendees provided positive feedback following the simulation, including, “‘This was my first experience with simulation- it was excellent and a realistic, helpful learning tool!’” and “‘This was the best simulation session I’ve seen at any conference! It was very relevant in life regarding all aspects of patient safety. I’d like to see more simulation cases at future meetings.’”

About the Program of Excellence in Clinical Performance and Simulation

Stevens continues to lead the WSU College of Nursing Program of Excellence in Clinical Performance & Simulation. One of her goals is to work with regional health care practices to help teams improve care delivery, teamwork, communication, and health outcomes. Health care partners benefit from access to simulation technology and WSU faculty simulation experts. If your team would like to experience hands-on learning that enhances participants’ retention and ability to apply skills to realistic health care scenarios, contact Kevin Stevens at or at (509) 324-7420.