Clinical Simulation Project

Building Clinical Simulation Capacity in Alaska: Future Development Plans

Clinical simulation is defined as  “a teaching strategy that replicates a real life situation with sufficient realism to serve an intended learning outcome”


Alaska’s foray into the realm of clinical simulation has resulted in a solid foundation of organizational interest and staffing. In September 2007, the Alaska Clinical Simulation Task Force was assembled to assess potential applications of clinical simulation in UA health programs and Alaska’s health care industry, engage nationally-recognized experts and inventory existing equipment – all in an attempt to paint a framework for future network development. The final report Clinical Simulation in Alaska: More than Mannequins, More than Centers, Developing a Collaborative Model can be found on this website.

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Subsequently, the UA’s Expanding Access to Health Programs (EAHP) office accepted the challenge to facilitate clinical simulation into the University’s health programs and interested industry partners. To begin, EAHP convened and continues to facilitate the Clinical Simulation Users’ Group comprised of statewide users, who share information such as: technical and facilitation expertise, various tools and templates for scenarios or debriefings.  Similarly, EAHP has supported formation of regional coalitions between UA programs and health care providers in the Interior and Southeast.


Since studies show that many medical errors in health care are caused by communication problems among multidisciplinary teams, it makes sense for UAA as the lead institution coordinating health programs in the UA system to consider best practice for inter-professional education.   Knowing this, teaching the next generation of doctors, health care professionals and nurses affords the opportunity for changing how we organize training and fulfill UAA’s health-related mission.  The team that works together must train together.

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The foundation for this statewide development is the School of Nursing, with two simulation labs in Anchorage and 13 outreach sites at community campuses with simple practice rooms, faculty and students. With the Health Science building opening in August, their leadership will be an essential part of inter-professional education as 4 practice disciplines habit the building: nursing, Alaska’s medical school WWAMI, medical laboratory technology and physician assistant program.  In addition, an inter-professional clinical simulation faculty committee formed and began cross content planning in the 2010-2011 academic year to support this work.



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