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Healthcare Simulation Center Handbook

Welcome to the Healthcare Simulation Center in the College of nursing at South Dakota State University.

  • Mission: The HCSC strives for excellence in simulation education, research, scholarship and health services to diverse individuals, communities and populations across the life span. The HCSC improves human health and quality of life for people in the state of South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world.
  • Vision: The Healthcare Simulation Center (HCSC) will be a national leader in quality simulation education within and/or between various disciplines.
  • Core Values: People-centered, Creativity, Integrity, Diversity, Excellence

Table of Contents

Code of Conduct

Purpose: Provide participant guidelines for conducting themselves in a professional respectful manner to maintain a safe and productive environment.

  1. Participants must sign a Simulation Contract that includes agreement to engage with the mannequins/partial task trainers/standardized patients and simulated environment as if they were real, conduct themselves in a professional manner during simulation, provide feedback to peers with respect and professionalism and maintain strict confidentiality about the details of simulated experiences, the simulation scenarios and the performance of any participant(s) either at the start of their educational program or the beginning of the simulation experience.
  2. Disrespect toward students, faculty, staff, the space or resources will not be tolerated.
  3. Nursing student participants will adhere to policies and procedures in the Student Handbook related to clinical attendance and punctuality.
  4. All participants are expected to come prepared having completed assigned preparatory work with a professional attitude and a desire to actively participate in the learning experience.
  5. The SDSU Healthcare Simulation Center is a shared space. As such, users are expected to clean up after themselves.
    1. Simulation space, control rooms and debriefing rooms should be cleared of all supplies, papers and equipment that are not part of the standard room set up by the end of each day.
    2. Return all equipment to its appropriate location.
    3. All consumable supplies that can be reused should be left neatly where they were set up.
    4. Garbage should be disposed of properly.
  6. Any damage to equipment or operating problems should be reported to the Healthcare Simulation Center staff immediately by e-mailing or calling the Simulation Site Coordinator at the appropriate site.
  7. Use pencils when in the simulation space. NEVER use ink pens, felt-tipped markers, iodine or betadine near the mannequins or task trainers. These items will PERMANENTLY stain the equipment.
  8. Do not use the equipment for any purpose other than specified.
  9. Food and chewing gum are not permitted, and drinks must have a lid on them in the Healthcare Simulation Center.
  10. Participants in educational and performance assessment activities will adhere to the same clinical dress code as they would for their respective discipline.
  11. A visible identification badge is always required of all participants (excluding simulation actors or standardized patients).
  12. A stethoscope should be brought to all standardized patient and high-fidelity simulation sessions.
  13. The HCSC Simulation Site Coordinator and HCSC Director/Assistant Director must be notified of cancellations within 24 hours of the scheduled session.

A copy of this Code of Conduct is displayed on a wall in each facility. Violations of the Code of Conduct are handled at the discretion of the respective HCSC Director.

Complaint Resolution

Purpose: The policy will address how faculty and/or student issues will be addressed per SDSU University guidelines.


  1. Course faculty, simulation facilitators, and/or students should notify the SDSU CON Healthcare Simulation Center Director of any site personnel or faculty issues.


Purpose: Donors and perspective community agencies request to view simulation space or be present during simulation activities to understand the complexity of the learning environment and the use of the equipment and supplies.


  1. Tours are scheduled with the Simulation Site Coordinator at each site. Tours are scheduled Monday through Friday between 0800-1630 unless other arrangements have been made through the SDSU Healthcare Simulation Center Director.
  2. Observers must follow the guidelines of the Confidentiality and Observer Consent policy.


Purpose: This policy lists which nursing events are considered excused absences and how simulation make-up is arranged.

SDSU’s general class attendance policy, as stated in the SDSU Undergraduate Catalog and Policy and Procedure Manual, will be followed. The general SDSU’s link is here: general class attendance (see the specific attendance policy).

  • College of Nursing Excused Absences will follow the circumstances discussed in the above Policy and Procedure Manual.
  • College of Nursing Unexcused Absences: An unexcused absence will initiate a Performance Improvement Plan as identified in the College of Nursing Accountability Performance Standards statement within syllabus. Any absence from clinical/simulation will require that the student make up the missed clinical hours and assignments. For an unexcused absence, the student will be billed by the College of Nursing for payment for the makeup clinical/simulation hours as outlined in the Billing Procedure for an Unexcused Clinical Absence/Simulation/Community Experience. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate via jacks’ e-mail (to the semester coordinator and the instructor) the process of scheduling clinical makeup within twenty-four hours (M-F) after the absence. The unexcused absence will be noted on the clinical evaluation tool.

Event Cancellation of Simulation

Purpose: This policy will provide safe and uniform cancellation of simulation. Refer to the South Dakota Board of Regents Policy. 


  1. In case of severe weather or other unanticipated events, the SDSU CON Healthcare Simulation Center will follow SDSU University policy regarding delays or cancellations.
  2. The facilitator assigned to complete simulation will notify the Simulation Site Coordinator and the HCSC Director. The Simulation Site Coordinator or Director will contact all faculty and participants assigned for simulation to cancel the scheduled simulation.
  3. The Simulation Site Coordinator will work with faculty to reschedule the event.

Simulation Equipment

Storage and Maintenance of Equipment and Supplies

Purpose: Proper maintenance of supplies and equipment is required for safe use and handling. Appropriate maintenance of equipment, timely repair and service must be ensured for the longevity of equipment within the Healthcare Simulation Center. Equipment that is out of service interferes with scheduled training and disrupts curricula.


  1. All equipment and supplies are secured within locked areas of the Healthcare Simulation Center.
  2. When a piece of equipment is not functioning properly, a Simulation Technician will trouble shoot, and when possible, resolve the issue(s). This may require contacting the equipment vendor to determine appropriate actions. If the problem is not resolved, the Healthcare Simulation Director will be notified. The equipment may require return to the vendor for repair, an onsite visit by the vendor or replacement.
  3. Maintenance of equipment will be performed according to manufacturer recommendations with software updates completed biannually.
  4. Consumables/replaceable mannequin components will be managed and replaced by the Simulation Technician, as necessary.
  5. Task trainers or hand-held equipment are to be wiped down between uses with designated disinfectant wipes.

Simulation Scenarios

Validation of Healthcare Simulation Center Scenarios

Purpose: This policy will provide steps to ensure simulation scenario validation for use in the SDSU CON Healthcare Simulation Center. In order to provide simulation participants with current evidence-based practice, scenarios will be developed and reviewed according to this policy.


  1. The course team will complete the Simulation Scenario Request Form to propose a simulation scenario to meet a gap in the curriculum or course outcome.
  2. Simulation scenarios developed by SDSU CON faculty/staff for use in the Healthcare Simulation Center will utilize the approved simulation scenario template. Template includes resources to follow the INACSL Standard of Best Practice: SimulationSM using evidence-based practice and for a content expert review.
  3. It is strongly recommended that all scenarios developed by SDSU CON faculty/staff for use in the Healthcare Simulation Center are reviewed for current and evidence-based practice by an independent content expert. Independent content expert may be based at SDSU or the community.
  4. Simulation scenarios will be provided to Healthcare Simulation Center personnel at least two weeks prior to scheduled simulation. This will ensure that Healthcare Simulation Center personnel have the appropriate technologies, equipment and disposable supplies to successfully run the simulation.
  5. Simulation scenarios used by SDSU CON simulation facilitators will be reviewed for current evidence-based practice biannually by the HCSC Faculty and Staff Teaching Team.

Resources and Social Media

Prioritization of Simulation Resources

Purpose: This policy will outline the scheduling and use of simulation resources.


  1. The use of simulation mannequins, equipment and supplies conducted by the SDSU CON Healthcare Simulation Center will take precedence over outside community agencies for contracted use.
  2. Scheduling of simulations will be completed by the Simulation Site Coordinator.
  3. When courses overlap within the CON, the Simulation Site Coordinator and HCSC Director/Assistant Director will review the course calendar, number of students involved, room availability, facilitator availability and equipment needs to determine the best solution for each simulation activity overlap.

Social Media and Electronic Communication in Simulation

Purpose: To describe the appropriate use of social media and define inappropriate use and associated reporting requirements. Consequences for misuse of social media are provided.

  1. Appropriate Use of Social Media
    1. Participants have ethical and legal obligations to maintain privacy and confidentiality at all times. Participants must not post any identifiable participant, facilitator, or standardized human patient information. Removing the individual’s name does not necessarily protect the person or patient’s identity, and sharing information, even with names removed, may be enough to constitute a violation of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and/or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and may have academic, employment and legal consequences (American Nurses Association, 2011).
    2. When using social media, participants should only post content that reflects positively on them and the institution or discipline from which they are representing. If participants post content regarding the institution or discipline, it should be clear that it does not represent the institution or discipline and that the content posted represents only the views of the participant. Participants must promptly report any identified breach of confidentiality or privacy.
    3. Future employers and educational institutions conduct web searches on prospective employees including online information and postings and may use that information to make hiring decisions. Remember that inappropriate online postings may impact future career options within the respective profession.
    4. When using social media and electronic communication, participants should follow the Netiquette guidelines and adhere to the South Dakota State University Social Networking Guidelines.
  2. Inappropriate Use of Social Media
    1. Participants must not post any personal or health related information associated with standardized human patients or others such as name, diagnoses, age, photographs or other images, injuries or treatments of patients or other information in regard to: procedures, surgeries, births, deaths or any incidents on any social media.
    2. Participants must not transmit, by way of any electronic media, any standardized human patient-related information or image that is reasonably anticipated to violate patient rights to confidentiality or privacy or to otherwise degrade or embarrass the standardized human patient.
    3. Participants must not refer to standardized human patients, instructor or peers in a disparaging manner, even if they are not identified.
    4. Participants must not take photos or videos of standardized human patients or peers during simulation on personal devices, including mobile devices.
    5. Participants must not make disparaging remarks about peers or instructors.
  3. Reporting of Inappropriate Use of Social media
    1. Report any breach of confidentiality or privacy in social media committed by participants to a facilitator, adviser or supervisor.
    2. Participants who view content that violates ethical or legal standards should first bring the content in question to the attention of the individual who posted it so that this individual can take appropriate action.
  4. Consequences
    1. Any student failing to adhere to the standards set forth in this policy is subject to administrative action, including any and all of the following: written reprimand, course failure, administrative withdrawal from the nursing major, and administrative withdrawal from the university.
    2. Any post that could be harmful or reflect negatively on other students, the College of Nursing, SDSU or any other persons, may result in liability for the individual sending the message. Posting photographs without permission from the individuals in the photographs may also result in legal consequences.


Ethics and Safety

Code of Ethics

The College of Nursing has adopted the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Simulationist Code of Ethics. Which include descriptions of the following topics. See the full SSH Code of Ethics for details.

  • Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Mutual Respect
  • Professionalism
  • Accountability
  • Results Orientation

Physical and Psychological Safety

Purpose: To define the College of Nursing’s requirements and expectations for creating a psychologically and physically safe learning environment and response to any unforeseen event within the Healthcare Simulation Center.

  1. Psychological safety impacts the participant’s ability to engage in simulation events and critical reflection. The nature of simulation can sometimes pose physical and/or psychological risks to the participant.
    1. To minimize these risks, simulation facilitators are responsible for pre-briefing which enables the participant to suspend disbelief so that they can immerse themselves safely in the simulation. Simulation facilitators are expected to provide a pre-brief that reminds participants of the objectives of the simulation and discusses the need for confidentiality, respectful communication and mutual support.
  2. In the event that a participant is experiencing undo stress, anxiety or emotional distress, a simulation facilitator will intervene to assist the participant.
    1. The simulation facilitator will be responsible for determining the appropriate course of action including continuing or stopping the simulation.
    2. The participant’s emotional reaction to the simulation should be discussed in a private setting with appropriate support services.
    3. The HCSC Director/Assistant Director and Site Assistant Dean should be notified within a reasonable timeframe.
    4. The HCSC Director/Assistant Director will be responsible for following up with the participant.
  3. In the event that a participant’s physical safety is compromised, the simulation facilitator will stop the simulation, assess the participant, activate the emergency medical response system (if warranted) and then notify the appropriate HCSC Director/Assistant Director and Site Assistant Dean.

Mechanisms to Appropriately Separate Simulation and Actual Patient Care Materials

Purpose: This policy will ensure the appropriate separation and safe use of simulation and actual patient care equipment, supplies and medications found within the SDSU CON Healthcare Simulation Center.


  1. Simulated medications may be purchased by a vendor or created by SDSU CON Healthcare Simulation Center facilitators.
  2. All medications that are used in the Healthcare Simulation Center must be labeled “Not for Patient Use.” Individual demo medications used in simulation (i.e. pills, tablets, capsules) may be placed in small containers and labeled by Healthcare Simulation Center facilitators.
  3. All donated expired IV medications (bags or bottles, etc.) must be labeled “Not for Patient Use”. Empty containers may be filled with sterile or distilled water to simulate real medication. Addition of non-toxic materials may be added to the container to attain a more realistic appearance.
  4. Expired medical supplies that have not been opened are often donated for use in the SDSU CON Healthcare Simulation Center. After use of the expired supplies in simulation, they are discarded appropriately by the Healthcare Simulation Center to ensure that they are not used for actual patient care.
  5. All equipment in simulation is for SDSU CON Healthcare Simulation Center use only. SDSU does not loan any equipment to other facilities that provide actual patient care. Modifications are made to the equipment to ensure safe use by Healthcare Simulation Center facilitators and participants.
  6. Equipment used during standardized patient simulations follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
  7. Any capital equipment can only be removed from the SDSU CON Healthcare Simulation Center upon prior approval from the HCSC Director.
  8. All equipment, supplies, sharps and medications are secured within locked areas of the SDSU CON Healthcare Simulation Center.
    1. Graduate student skills bags and Undergraduate community skills bags may be checked out by contacting the Site Lab Coordinator or Simulation Technician.

Healthcare Simulation Center Leadership

  • Interim Simulation Director: Leann Horsley, PhD, RN, CHSE, CNE
  • Assistant Simulation Director: Alyssa Zweifel, MS, RN, CHSE
  • Aberdeen Simulation Site Coordinator: Anne Buttolph, RN, MS, CCRN
  • Brookings Simulation Site Coordinator: Danielle Schievelbein, MS, RN
  • Rapid Simulation Site Coordinator: Megan Watson, MS, RN
  • Sioux Falls Simulation Site Coordinator: Takara Schomberg, MSN, RN, CNE