HealthWatch: Labor Simulation Program


Continuous training is important in the healthcare profession.    
Aurora BayCare Medical Center is using life-like simulators that  mimic real-life patient reactions to help save lives- providing realistic hands on training.

Simoan was rushed to the hospital following a car accident and she’s pregnant, “It looks to me from my use of the ultrasound that the baby is in distress,” said Stephen Sehring, MD, Medical Director of Women’s Health Services, Aurora BayCare Medical Center. 

Simoan is a high fidelity obstetrics simulator  and is part of the labor simulation program at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.  She’s basically a large computer with Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator Lisa Resch running the program, “Anything that a patient will do those signs and symptoms the simulators can replicate them,” said Lisa Resch, Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.  

The simulator speaks and responds much like real patients in hundreds of different medical scenarios, “Heart sounds, lung, sounds, bowel sounds,” said Resch. And more like speaking and bleeding.

Simoan is one of 4 simulators used for training, “They actually have to put their hands on assess the patients, talk to the patients, put equipment together, give medications,” said Resch.

Any patient caregiver who has patient contact  trains with the simulator program periodically in a team approach setting- and they don’t’ know what the scenario will be, “We put them into an environment or a situation that they encounter in their real patient care area,” said Resch.

Dr. Stephen Sehring is the Medical Director of Women’s Health Services he says working on simulators is better for training than working on mannequins or actors, “We can increase her blood pressure, decrease her blood pressure, we can do things with her that a an actor wouldn’t be able to replicate,” said Dr. Sehring.

Dr. Sehring says going through scenarios gives health care workers confidence when the real emergency happens and its a stressful situation, “Some of these emergencies are quite unusual and we’re not going to see them everyday so its nice to be well versed in the simulations prepared for the worst,” said Dr. Sehring.

Simoan’s diagnosis, “Placental separation,” said Dr. Sehring. And she needs a C-section. 

Both  believe the training improves staff confidence and care and saves lives, “When we actually encounter the emergency everyone is that much calmer because they’ve done it with the simulations,” said Dr. Sehring.

“Caregivers will come back to me after the fact and say I knew what to do because I learned it in simulation,” said Resch.

Aurora BayCare is the only hospital in Northeast Wisconsin that has a simulation training program.

To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email

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