High-Fidelity Simulation is Modernizing Manikin-Training to Save Lives


More than 2.5 million lives have been saved since the first CPR training manikin — known as Rescue Annie — came into use in 1960.

Fast-forward to 2020, where the UT Southwestern Simulation Center is using cutting-edge technology and advanced teaching methods to train thousands in a host of life-saving skills and medical procedures.

Since its opening at the end of 2018, the 49,000-square-foot center has provided more than 16,000 interactive training sessions, in a variety of health care environments, such as in-patient visits, operating rooms, clinics, trauma centers and intensive care units.

The facility — one of the largest medical simulation centers in the United States — has become a regional hub for training health care professionals and students. Among them are roughly 1,400 residents and fellows, 1,000 medical students and about 150 students from the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions.

The center offers one of the most advanced, immersive forms of instruction available in modern medicine: high-fidelity patient simulation (HFS). HFS incorporates human behavior and anatomical functions into manikins, such as crying and secretions from the eyes, ears and mouth, and can even respond to medical care, such as chest compressions and defibrillation. HFS spaces at the center include an emergency room, an intensive care room, and a labor and delivery room. Other simulation areas include two large operating room suites, three robotic-surgery-training spaces, a laparoscopic training and suturing lab, and 20 patient exam rooms.

“There was a vision by UT Southwestern Medical Center to create a state-of-the-art center, which would be a resource for all learners, trainees and employees, promote best-practice education, inter-professional activities and focus [on] better patient care,” says Dr. Daniel Scott, Director of the UT Southwestern SIM Center, describing what spurred the center’s creation.

This article is part of the 2020 Higher Education Review Magazine.