Mercyhealth Prehospital and Emergency Services Center in Rockford Renovation Complete


ROCKFORD, Illinois – Mercyhealth recently completed a $2 million renovation of its hi-tech Simulation (SIM) lab in the Mercyhealth Prehospital and Emergency Services Center.

“This simulation center brings our providers and their patients cutting edge technology,” said Dr. John Pakiela, a Mercyhealth MD-1 physician and Associate EMS Medical Director. “It allows our providers, from first responders, paramedics, and nurses to our critical care providers and medical students, the opportunity to practice in real world, difficult scenarios that we can rapidly change with the push of a button.”

On Thursday, January 11, a team of Mercyhealth emergency care providers demonstrated their new capabilities by performing a simulation of how they would help save a burn victim from a house fire.

“This was a scenario that showcases some of our advanced lifesaving skill training capabilities,” said Jessica Johnson, Sr. Paramedic Education for Mercyhealth EMS Systems. “It showed a direct relationship to meeting our community’s needs given some of our most recent tragic fire events over the past few months.”

The training center’s $2 million renovation included new classroom and lab facilities with new high-fidelity manikins. These simulation manikins have the latest and greatest in computer hardware and wireless programming to provide a very realistic patient experience.

“Mercyhealth’s $2 million investment in renovating the Prehospital and Emergency Services Center represents a significant, long-term and permanent investment in our Rockton Avenue Campus and the West side of Rockford,” said Pakiela. “Thousands of students will pass through here each year better equipped to handle critical situations in our community because of the training we can now provide here.”

Here are some key highlights of the simulation process using high-fidelity manikins for advanced life support training:


Simulators are valuable because they can be used effectively to develop, maintain or augment various lifesaving skills. This can include the administration of drugs, advanced airway care and medication. Simulators have the ability for instructors to log skills in real time as they occur, and some skills are automatically logged by the program. The instructor can also log in during the scenario run and make comments that may aid in instruction after the scenario is complete.


The learner should be made aware of the type of simulation they will be participating in and given an outline of what is expected of them before they start. The medical professionals and/or students are then allowed to immerse themselves into the care of the patient. Video recording is another tool used in the simulation process. Students are made aware they are being recorded for educational purposes.

Post-Simulation Review:
Student debriefing (review) is accomplished immediately after the scenario is concluded. Debriefing is the process by which students interactively review their performance after completing a simulation exercise. The procedure is guided by session objectives, course material and instructor notes, comments, etc. Instructors serve as a resource and interject goals and outcomes of the scenario in a positive manner.

Instructors cover:

  • Were the main critical thinking points covered in the simulation?
  • Were all skills addressed and completed?
  • Did the participants respond appropriately to the presented scenario?
  • Were crew and patient safety appropriate?
  • Was there anything else that should have been covered to meet the goals of the scenario?
  • What is the feedback from the participants?

The continued use of high fidelity full-sized human patient simulation manikins is advancing and has joined the ranks of aviation, space flight, military and other high-stakes roles. With the continual advancement of computer science and simulation design, the EMS Training center provides a safe learning environment for all levels of medical providers and produces a more effective and efficient education patient interactive system.

The training center will remain where it is on the Rockton Avenue campus once the new Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center – Riverside opens in January 2019.

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