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There are varied paths toward a career in medical simulation. Shandra and Lydia of Jump Simulation Center and the Health Care Engineering Systems Center share their educational backgrounds, career paths, and what ignited their passion for simulation.
Shandra Jamison, MA, RRT | Manager, Jump Simulation Center
"Being able to help medical students feel comfortable and confident with medical training is truly fulfilling."
My Associate's in Applied Science was in Respiratory Care. As a respiratory therapist, you work in high-stress, fast-paced environments with patient populations that change daily, ranging from neonatal, to pediatric, to adult, and to geriatric. You may give routine care one day and attend a high-risk delivery the next. Being able to think critically on-the-fly and have the ability to deliver excellent care with compassion and clear communication is so important. Each department of the hospital in which I worked would have quarterly competency skills days. This is where you'd review and practice skills that are low-volume, yet high acuity to ensure you maintain your competency at the skill or procedure. In addition to being able to set up and run the equipment, being able to explain the procedure to the patient or family members meant you needed to practice communication with compassion and in simple terms so they could understand the plan of care.
Working with new staff, patients, and family members was something I truly enjoyed. To see staff grow and become experts, to have great patient outcomes, and to have families be able to take their loved ones home grew my passion for the job even more. When the opportunity arose to work in healthcare simulation, I took it immediately. To be able to bring my years of bedside experience to new physicians and help them understand that not only is it important to know the disease process and how to treat it, but to see the patient as more than just a patient - as family, is so special. Treat them as you would want your family to be treated. When you work with other staff, nurses, respiratory therapists, and healthcare technicians, they're a partner. They are at the bedside 24/7 and are an asset in developing the plan of care. Being able to help medical students feel comfortable and confident with medical training and communication is truly fulfilling.
Mae Vogel, Curriculum Content Coordinator, Jump Simulation Center
"I lean into the opportunity to challenge others, foster greatness, and excite learners."
With over a decade of experience in the classroom, I enjoy the ever-evolving landscape of education paired with the quick pace of leading the classroom and inspiring students to love learning as much as I have. As a Special Educator, I had the opportunity to teach a variety of subjects and grade levels often all within the same school day! The excitement of learning, regardless of the content area, is my drive, and keeping the student learning at the forefront of the lesson was and is the most important aspect of education.
Earning my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction inspired me to branch out of the classroom to impact student learning opportunities on a larger scale. When searching for an arena that is at the forefront of education, I found myself drawn to the innovation and excitement offered by simulation. Simulation offers hands-on, real-world experiences that are best practice when it comes to an educational experience. Pairing that with the opportunity to impact medical education, this path is an awesome way to continue to be at the cutting edge and continue educating.