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Preparing for a Unique Pathogens Scenario
A View from the Control Room
Team Based Learning in the Operating Room
Medical Students in a Pediatric Simulation
Residents Working in the Surgical Task Training Room


Check out the latest News from The Center for Human Simulation & Patient Safety. To read all News about The Center, click here.

Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:15:00 EST
CHSPS Staff Receive National Certifications

Congratulations to Ellen Brock MD, Cathy Grossman MD, and Cheryl Bodamer PhD, RN who are now Certified Healthcare Simulation Educators (CHSE). This certification denotes “formal recognition of specialized knowledge, skills, abilities, and accomplishments in simulation education” by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH 2015). One of our keys to helping accomplish this goal was the formation of a study group. We formed a blog, posted a review of journal articles in simulation, and met face to face for discussion. Here is the link if you want to read our work:

The requirements for CHSE posted on the website include: “Participation in healthcare simulation in an educator role, focused simulation expertise on learners in undergraduate, a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, and two years continued use of simulation in healthcare education, research, or administration.” Review books and courses are available. If you are interested in this certification, information can be found on this link:


Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:15:00 EST
New Educational Initiatives

CHSPS has acquired and trained in the use of the Human Worn Partial Task Surgical Simulator also known as the “Cut Suit” by Strategic Operations. The first “Cut Suit” was developed for tactical combat casualty care (TLCC) training by the military and since that time a second trainer is now used for surgical simulations. The “Cut Suit” is used to simulate trauma scenarios and provides the opportunity to safely perform surgical procedures on a live person wearing the suit. It is worn by a standardized patient or “SP” who is trained by our Center. Moulage, a special application of makeup, can be used to realistically portray the person’s injuries along with simulated blood. A number of procedures can be performed including cricothyroidotomy, tourniquet application, needle thoracentesis, chest tube insertion, suturing and stapling of skin, a thoracotomy and laparotomy. For more information go to:

If you are interested in using this surgical simulator, please contact Cheryl Bodamer PhD, RN or Ellen Brock MD in the simulation center @ 628-3925.


Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:15:00 EST

In December the VCU Center for Human Simulation and Patient Safety (CHSPS) was awarded accreditation as a Comprehensive Education Institute through the American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Institutes program.

“We are thrilled” said Dr. Ellen Brock, Medical Director of the CHSPS.  “This represents 5+ years of working together with the Department of Surgery to consolidate our education programs and focus on quality simulation based education.” 

Dr. Patricia Lange, Pediatric Surgeon and CHSPS Assistant Director for Surgical Simulation, concurs. “Being named an Accredited Education Institute by the American College of surgeons is a great honor and is in-line with our department's strong commitment to education of students, residents and faculty.  This accreditation will allow us to better collaborate with other institutions to develop new and innovative programs that will enhance residents' surgical skills, OR team dynamics, patient quality and safety as well as educational research.”

The accreditation represents external validation of the quality of work at CHSPS – including a disciplined approach to curriculum design and implementation, assessment of learning outcomes and educational effectiveness, and ongoing quality improvement.  Equally important are the benefits of networking with educators and researchers from the other AEI’s and the opportunities to collaborate in curriculum design, evaluation, and development of technologies for teaching.

The accreditation process requires demonstration of the quality of education and infrastructure processes in a number of areas including:

  • how the center approaches education in the 4 domains of cognitive, psychomotor, affective, and team skills
  • training that promotes effective communication, inter-professional interactions, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement,and systems-based practice
  • the process for developing and implementing original curricula within the CHSPS
  • a process for evaluating and selecting adopted curricula
  • how faculty are recruited and trained as simulation educators
  • processes and mechanisms for assessing learner performance and outcomes
  • process for assessment of faculty
  • processes for continuous improvement in the education and training programs
  • the adequacy of the CHSPS’s physical facility, technology infrastructure, staff and equipment for meeting the educational needs at the UME, GME CME and inter-professional team levels
  • integrity of the budgetary processes and organizational commitment to sustaining the CHSPS

Accreditation is awarded on a three year cycle.

“Ultimately, we are all about education that improves the care and safety of our patients” said Dr. Brock. “We have a very supportive administration, great and enthusiastic faculty and a wonderful staff. And many, many people worked together to create a Center worthy of this designation. They can all be proud of this achievement.”