For a few tense moments, onlookers in the Skills Acquisition and Innovation Laboratory (SAIL) watched the monitors as a routine appendectomy took a turn for the worse. The patient, a lifelike manikin, was having an anaphylactic reaction to a medication. Within minutes, anesthesiology residents Hannah Xu and Grace Shih, assisted by Melvin La and Maria Walline, had the situation under control.
The scene was part of Family Simulation Day, a two-hour event on March 24 designed to introduce friends and family to the working life of an anesthesiologist and the challenges they face every day. Hosted by the anesthesiology department's Residency Support Council (RSC), 11 residents and 13 invited guests took part.
"We wanted families to see the residents in action doing their jobs, and we wanted to demonstrate some of the procedures we do and model the environment that we work in," said Dr. Lori Rubin, associate professor of clinical anesthesiology and co-director of SAIL. SAIL is a teaching and research lab at Weill Cornell Medicine that utilizes state-of-the-art simulation technology to train healthcare professionals.
Participants also had a chance to use some of the tools of the trade as they rotated through three stations: intubation, spinal epidural and nerve blocks.
Family Simulation Day was coordinated by RSC member Dr. Maria Walline with support from Drs. Ryan Lippell and Grace Shih. The RSC hopes to run similar events in the future.