DC and SIM-one educate through simulation

Durham College (DC) played host to the Ontario Simulation Network (SIM-one) on June 17 when the organization hosted a workshop titled PSW & Simulation Regional Workshop: Unlocking the Potential of Simulation at Living Lab 2 at the Whitby campus.

SIM-one, an active supporter of the college’s Personal Support Worker (PSW) program, offered the workshop to Durham College faculty and staff and other interprofessional health-care providers in Durham Region who interact with seniors and PSWs. Aimed at improving access to training, it focused on how PSWs can assist seniors aging at home using the latest simulation equipment.

“We were thrilled when SIM-one approached us with the idea of Durham College hosting this workshop,” said Deborah Schuh, program co-ordinator, PSW program. “It provided an opportunity to showcase the successes within our PSW program and was a great way to promote interprofessional collaboration between faculty from our PSW, Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physiotherapist Assistant and paramedic programs. In addition, it helped to increase awareness of the important role a PSW plays as a valued member of the health-care team who promotes and maintains quality of life for our seniors.”

With DC faculty members Deborah Schuh, Kevin Griffith and Laura Maybury from the School of Health & Community Services and Marie McEwan, the Clinical Simulation Program Advisor for Durham College/UOIT, assisting with the activities, the goal of the workshop was to improve the understanding, attitudes and skills needed for the effective use of simulation techniques by the participants.  

DC’s Living Lab 2 was donated to the college in January 2011 by Durham Custom Homes. A 1940s-built home with low ceilings, narrow hallways and smaller room sizes, it provides a realistic depiction of the current living environments of many seniors and is an ideal learning environment for students. In March 2013, the college received $46,500 in funding from SIM-one and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Seniors Care Strategy to purchase PSW-specific simulation equipment for installation in the home.

“Living Lab 2, or the PSW Senior’s House as we call it, has been a buzz since SIM-one was provided an update on how it is enhancing student learning,” added Schuh. “It is equipped with both high- and low-fidelity simulators with funds received from SIM-one and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Seniors Care Strategy and I am pleased to say that the simulators have been incorporated into an innovative and unique senior’s home care community simulation experience for more than 70 recent PSW student grads.”