Simulation Lab

Nurse Anesthesia Program
High Fidelity Simulation Lab

Western Carolina University is proud to announce its recent opening of a new high-fidelity anesthesia simulation center at its new Biltmore Park campus.  The facility was designed by Dr. Mark A. Kossick, who was appointed as the Graduate Anesthesia Simulation Education Coordinator.  He previously served at another university as Director of Graduate Simulation Education which has brought a wealth of experience to the development of this new center.  The School of Nursing was able to purchase through the 1.23 million dollars HRSA Education grant secured by Dr. Shawn Collins, and the administrative support of WCU the most advanced human patient simulator HPS available on the market today (CAE/METI HPS]).  At a cost of $236,000 it permits faculty and anesthesia students to work with a HPS system in an operating room in which the "patient" has 1) pupils react to opiods, light, brain injury, 2) the ulnar nerve respond to a peripheral nerve stimulator (tetanus, train-of-four), 3) automatic recognition and response to administered drugs and drug dosages, 4) variable lung compliance and airways resistance, 5) automatic response to needle decompression of a tension pneumothorax, chest tube drainage and pericardiocentesis, 6) central and peripheral pulses that abate in response to hemodynamic changes, 7) the ability to respond to cardioversion, defibrillation, and external pacing as needed.

Dr. Kossick and Student in Lab

 Graduate student Ricardo Isaacs preparing to intubate a pediatric patient with Dr. Mark A. Kossick evaluating his induction technique.

Other ancillary hardware in the operating room includes:  operating room light, a $20,500 MP70 IntelliVue Anesthesia Monitor that can display end-tidal gas values, invasive and noninvasive blood pressures, ECG, pulse oximetry, pulmonary artery and central venous pressures, thermal dilution cardiac output waveforms, derived 12 leads, and a Zoll defibrillator.  The adjacent control room permits faculty to deliver the simulation curriculum via MUSE CAE software and record simulated activity via Learning Space ($34,000) audiovisual recording system (to be installed Fall 2012); which will also allow debriefing experiences for students.

Professor Hewer with Student

Assistant Professor Ian Hewer teaching graduate student Michelle Maramag the sequence of events for performing an anesthesia machine check.


Professor Degman with Student

Assistant Professor Dustin Degman assessing Elizabeth Henson's technique in preparation for an intrathecal injection of local anesthetic.

The anesthesia clinical skills lab includes learning experiences with a GE ultrasound machine with color flow Doppler imaging capabilities ($24,250), advanced airway deivices (e.g., GlideScope [$11,200], fiber-optic bronchoscope,  jet ventilation device), Life/form spinal injection simulator, Life/form central venous cannulation simulator, various adult (Airsim Bronchi [$2,350], AMBU Airway Management Trainer [$1,480]) and neonatal airway models, as well as an OR stretcher for preoperative anesthesia assessments.

Professor Mason McDowell and Dr. Mark Kossick evaluating a SRNA's performance in the control room via pan-tilt-zoom camera.

Dr. Shawn Collins instructing Paula Grey, SRNA, on the use of ultrasound imaging for identifying potential vascular structures for cannulation.

The WCU Nurse Anesthesia Program's High Fidelity Simulation Lab will provide graduate anesthesia students with state of the art experiences in advanced airway management techniques, regional anesthesia ultrasound imaging devices, and HPS simulation experiences for many years to come.

Operation Room Simulation Lab

Operating room #1 simulation lab with the adult CAE Human Patient Simulation (HPS). Used to deliver adult high fidelity simulation scenarios.


High Fidelity Simulation Lab
(click for additional pictures)


Simulation Scholarship-Professional Development-Service

2013 -
Sarasota, Florida (attendance- Kossick MA)
2012 - 04.2013 "Evaluation of the Effectiveness of High Fidelity Simulation on the Acquisition of Physical Assessment Skills in First Year Associate Degree Nursing Students", Youngwood M, Kossick MA (Chairman), Comer L, Jones AM, McDowell M, Western Carolina University, Biltmore Park, North Carolina
2012 01.27-02.01 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare,
San Diego, California (attendance-Kossick MA)
2009 03.17-19 HPSN 09 (METI conference) Tampa, Florida (attendance-Kossick MA)
2009 02.25 Simulation Education, AANA Faculty Development Workshop,
Orlando, Florida (attendance-Kossick MA)
2008 08.02 Pericarddial Tamponade Simulation Session (Simulation Lab Experience)
Cardiac Care Conference hosted by Medical Education and Research
Institute and Union University School of Nursing, Union University,
Jackson, Tennessee, (Kossick MA)
2008 02.18-21 HPSN 08 (METI Conference) including attendance at Basic Scenario Design
and Creation in the HPS6 Software, Tampa, Florida (attendance-Kossick MA)
2008 01.13-15 8th Annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare,
San Diego, California (attendance-Kossick MA)
2007 Director of Graduate Simulation Education for the Baptist Memorial Health
Care Center of Excellence in Health Care Practice, Union University,
Jackson, Tennessee (Kossick MA)

Anesthesia Simulation Faculty

Mark A. Kossick
Graduate Anesthesia Simulation Education Coordinator
High Fidelity Simulation and Research Center
Full Professor

Shawn Collins, DNP, PhD, CRNA
Director, Nurse Anesthesia Program
Assistant Professor

Ian Hewer, MSN, CRNA
Assistant Director, Nurse Anesthesia Program
Assistant Professor

Cheryl Johnson, DNP, CRNA
Assistant Professor, Nurse Anesthesia Program


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