NEWS | July 9, 2019

UC Davis simulation center stays contemporary with name change

Evolves into the Center for Simulation and Education Enhancement

To stay abreast of the advancements taking place in the fields of health care and education, the UC Davis Center for Virtual Care is changing its name to the UC Davis Center for Simulation and Education Enhancement.

In addition to lifelike patient simulators, the Center features a trauma bay, operating room, and much more in 10,000 square feet of simulation space.  In addition to lifelike patient simulators, the Center features a trauma bay, operating room, and much more in 10,000 square feet of simulation space.

Recently reaccredited as a Comprehensive Education Institute by the American College of Surgeons, the Center is nationally recognized for its use of simulation for learners at all levels and across many disciplines. Educators from the UC Davis School of Medicine, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, UC Davis Medical Center and other Northern California organizations utilize the Center to give learners hands-on clinical practice in a safe, risk-free environment. 

Ian Julie, associate professor of emergency medicine and medical director for the Center, said the name change acknowledges the Center’s vast contributions to education and highlights the fact that the Center offers several opportunities to enhance learning.  

“We have an extraordinary program that not only includes student, faculty, and staff education in the Center, but also valuable in-situ training sessions, teaching fellowships, and research and development projects,” Julie said. “The new name better showcases UC Davis’ commitment to providing collaborative, team-based education and training.”

When the innovative health care and patient simulation facility was established in 2002, including “virtual care” in the name made sense as the technology used to develop patient mannequins was based on virtual reality flight simulators. Seventeen years later, the term “virtual care” is more closely associated with direct patient care using technology, such as video visits, instead of medical simulation. 

Edgardo Salcedo, associate professor of surgery and surgical director for the Center, said the name change is necessary to further cement the distinction between what is now deemed virtual care in the health care industry versus today’s simulation education technology.

“While we still offer ‘virtual reality’ experiences via surgical simulators for laparoscopic, endoscopic, endovascular and robotic training procedures, our focus is on how these educational experiences impact learning, patient outcomes, and quality improvement initiatives,” Salcedo said.  

Since its humble beginnings on the first floor of the UC Davis Medical Center, the simulation Center has grown to include more than 10,000 square feet of dedicated simulation space on the third floor of the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology. In addition to patient simulators with advanced lifelike physiology, the Center features a trauma bay, operating room, inpatient unit, six-bay patient ward area, task training room, technology enhanced classrooms and standardized patient exam rooms.