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The first two years of 'CASMS', the world's busiest medical simulation centre

R. H. Riley, A. M. Grauze, C. Chinnery and R. Horley
Centre for Anaesthesia Skills and Medical Simulation (CASMS), The University of Western Australia
Introduction: Simulation is increasingly used to enhance medical education. Simulators and other sophisticated skill trainers are expensive devices and their use is no longer restricted to anesthesiologists. We describe the functions and utilisation of a large, purpose-built government funded medical simulation and skills centre.

Design and Setting: Early in 2000 'CASMS' commenced operations. It features three complete simulation suites (clinical area, adjoining control room and debriefing room), a skills area, a courtyard (with car wreck) and administrative offices. CASMS is located adjacent to a Surgical Workshop and a Department of Anatomy. Each simulation suite has two ceiling-mounted cameras and physiological monitor display that are connected to synchronised digital video machines. CASMS is staffed by three training officers (nurses or paramedics), a medical director and more than 10 visiting medical and nursing instructors. Simulators include the Eagle MedSim adult simulator and all commercially available Laerdal simulators and manikins, anesthesia machines, airway and paramedic equipment.

Results: During 2000-2001, over 1800 participants have attended CASMS for medical and nursing education. A wide variety of courses have been undertaken, including medical crisis management (anesthesiologists, anesthesia technicians, intensive care nurses, PACU nurses), resuscitation and advanced life support (interns, residents, medical students, defence force paramedics), assisting the anaesthetist (operating room nurses who assist anaesthetists), and medical emergencies in family practice (rural or city practice) or dental practice (dentists). There are also workshops in difficult airway management, communication skills, management of arrhythmias, central venous and intravenous catheterisation.

Conclusion: Governments and universities require efficient and widespread use of simulators and training devices. Our collaborative approach is one model that allows consolidation of a wide variety of equipment and courses in a dedicated simulation and skills training centre.

Please cite as: Riley, R. H., Grauze, A. M., Chinnery, C. and Horley, R. (2003). The first two years of 'CASMS', the world's busiest medical simulation centre. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/riley-abs.html

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Last revision: 16 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/riley-abs.html