Simulation Activities (Nurse Anesthesia)

The Nurse Anesthesia Program has always been a leader in simulation education, developing a course on Anesthesia Crisis Management for CRNAs as early as 1994. The simulation facility in the School of Nursing is a state-of-the-art facility designed to facilitate 'full context' simulation activities.  The educational approach is to have learning occur in an environment that is as close as possible to reality in order to promote more effective learning.  

The School of Nursing simulation labs contain anesthesia gas machines; anesthesia carts; emergency carts; a malignant hyperthermia (MH) cart; OR supplies; critical care supplies; gas supply; vacuum; OR lights; intercom; alarm systems; and a line of Laerdal Mannequins including SimMan®, SimMom®, SimBaby®, SimNewbie®, and SimEssentials®.  The lab has full audiovisual capability with two active cameras, audio and video mixers, monitor, and digital recorders. 

Additional simulation experiences take place at the 16,000 square-foot Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation Education and Research (WISER).  WISER is a world class inter-professional simulation training and research facility focused on improving patient safety through more effective healthcare provider education.  Students from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy and Physician Assistants train at WISER.  Further, WISER supports practicing professionals in the 37 UPMC hospitals which employ more than 5000 physicians and more than 15,000 nurses.  The expertise of the staff and faculty of WISER helps to optimize the educational experiences for students in the Nurse Anesthesia Program.  

Simulation educational activities currently offered by the Pitt Nurse Anesthesia Program include:

First Year

  • Gowning and Gloving
  • IV insertion
  • Arterial line insertion
  • Central venous catheter insertion
  • Anesthesia gas machine checkout
  • Pre-operative evaluation
  • Positioning for surgery
  • Airway workshop
  • Spinal anesthesia insertion
  • Epidural anesthesia insertion
  • Sterile field preparation
  • Mock induction of anesthesia

Second and Third Years

  • Problem-based simulation (cardiac, respiratory, GI, neuro)
  • Pediatric simulation
  • Double-lumen endotracheal tube insertion
  • Fiberoptic bronchoscopy simulation
  • Anesthesia crisis leadership training
  • Simulation teaching practicum (NURSAN 2751)
  • Trauma simulation
  • Difficult airway simulation
  • Regional anesthesia workshop (spinal, epidural, peripheral nerve block, cadaver exploration, ultrasound use)
    Additional opportunities to develop skills as a simulation educator