Recreating The Wheel


Blog post by SimGHOSTS board member Nick Brauer

Simulation often requires operation folks to think on their feet and act immediately. Due to time constraints though, there is often very little if any additional time to create moulage or props from ground zero. This is perhaps why it is important to have an arsenal of supplies, go-to electronic files and web links. In my personal opinion it is imperative to have as many resources as possible and be familiar with them as well.


In the past I’ve written about where there are numerous media files from video, audio or still images.  This very site hosts a number of documents from manikin maintenance to defibrillator annual checklist in addition to over 200 course videos.  Do you have access?  Can you find that CXR with a right tension pneumothorax or rocuronium med label or background ED sounds or where is that stage 4 ulcer we made 2 months ago?  What do you not have on that supply list and unfortunately don’t realize its needed?    

When it comes down to it, the simulation is as believable as the environmental surroundings. Take a look – Mark Sagar has gained widespread recognition for his pioneering work in rendering faces for Hollywood movies, including Avatar and King Kong. He states ”The eyes convey important messages of nonverbal communication that must be taken into account for a successful simulation. (Photo courtesy of the Laboratory for Animate Technologies.)”

What is the story “her” eyes are telling? They look red, watery and puffy. Maybe she’s having an allergic reaction to the spring pollen. On the other hand, maybe her husband is leaving on a 6 month active duty tour and by the way she’s pregnant with their first child.

Whatever the story line it is imperative to pay attention to details. We as sim specialist have a duty and responsibility to provide a service to our students and faculty whereby it represents life, death and everything in between. When it is all said and done the product we provide will ultimately one day appear in the hospital or clinic where our loved ones ask for help!

And for those looking to add a few files to your arsenal list here are few med labels I use on a regular basis.