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Carl Peterson Clinical Education Center

The 4,500 square-foot Carl Peterson Clinical Education Center is one of the leading providers of hospital-based clinical education in the region. Located on the lower level of the Medical Plaza Office Building at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, the specialized learning facility provides practice-based, hands-on education for healthcare professionals.

The center is used for orientations, in-services, simulation training, continuing education courses, leadership development classes, skills and electronic documentation training sessions. The Center features classrooms, simulation labs, clinical suites and a kitchen used for catering seminars and workshops.

The highlight of the Center is one of the most sophisticated simulation labs in Portland. It features three SimMan mannequins, a birthing simulator, plus neonate, infant and child simulators.

The simulators are connected to computers and video technology that record the actions of trainees for competency validation and debriefing of learning scenarios. He comes with a dizzying array of scenarios for testing and training purposes. Airway complications alone include pharyngeal obstruction, tongue edema, trismus, laryngospasm, decreased cervical range of motion, decreased lung compliance, stomach distension and pneumothorax decompression. The simulation lab is used to give new hires and clinical staff learning opportunities in scenarios they would otherwise need to pick up “live,” to validate the skills of current staff and to provide general skills training. 

Simulation lab creates an ideal learning environment

When you step into the simulation lab you’d swear you were in a typical patient room at any Legacy hospital.

There’s a patient lying on the bed and he tells a nurse that he’s feeling better, thanks to her quick response. The nurse accepts the compliment, and everything appears normal. Then you notice that the patient isn’t a real person, and there is a large, one-way mirror that fills a wall on the opposite side of the bed. “Good work,” says a loud voice that seems to come from nowhere.

The voice belongs to Nellie Crawford, one of two simulation specialists in the lab who put patient care staff through mock drills and scenarios using a hospital room replicated right down to the smallest details including mannequin patients that can do practically everything except jump out of the hospital bed.

"I always feel a little like Oz from The Wizard of Oz when I’m in the control room," Crawford says as she works on the other side of the mirrored wall.

Standing in front of computers and TV monitors, Crawford captures everything taking place in the lab. A typical 10- to 15-minute training session could include a myocardial infarction, an airway emergency or an obstetric complication, to name just a few possible scenarios.

In addition to practicing or assessing clinical skills, simulation is a valuable tool for training on new equipment, strengthening interdisciplinary teams and building cultural competency or other important elements of patient-centered care.

All of the data and video taken during training is analyzed by educators, students, and simulation specialists in a debriefing session afterward. "That’s when the learning really takes place," says a recent trainee.

Carl Peterson Clinical Education Center
Legacy Emanuel Medical Center
300 N. Graham Street
Portland, Oregon 97227