Prof. Beth Hundt poses with mannequin and pretend patient Mrs. Umal.
'Are these medications making me sick?' Mrs. Umal, a patient invented by profs Sarah Craig, Beth Hundt (left), and Jenn Kastello, was among the concepts presented at the annual VASSA conference in DC.

Prescription pill bottles (with Skittles candies inside) that present real-life drug interaction problems for students to untangle in pharmacology. Moving mannequins from the sim lab into the lecture hall. Troubleshooting sim tech, experiential learning and leadership, novel patient identities and scenarios, and nurturing new hires.

No fewer than nine UVA Nursing faculty (and one pretend patient, Mrs. Umal, invented by professors Craig, Hundt, and Kastello for a novel exercise in medication administration and assessment) took part as presenters at the Virginia State Simulation Alliance conference Aug. 1-3 in Herndon, Va., which brought together nurses, faculty, physicians, EMTs, respiratory therapists, and others from around the state.

"I'm impressed at the scope of our presence," said sim lab director Ryne Ackard, who, with Sarah Craig, Andrew Guertler, Samantha Hudgins, Beth Hundt, Jennifer Kastello, James Nisley, Richard Ridge, and Crystal Toll, presented their novel teaching and operational approaches to simulation to colleagues and educators from around the state. "Looking around, seeing our people sharing what they do with our colleagues, I was like, 'Wow, we are really doing a lot.'"

  • "The BUCK Stops Here" (Ryne Ackard and colleagues)
  • "Sim Ratio 2:1: VASSA Recommendations" (Ackard and colleagues)
  • "Simulation Basics: Troubleshooting that Problems" (Ackard, Andrew Guertler, and colleagues)
  • "Visitors in the Lecture Hall: Classroom Simulation" (Sam Hudgins, Crystal Toll, and Guertler)
  • "Beyond the Sim Lab: Facilitating Clinical in a Large Classroom Setting" (Sarah Craig, Jenn Kastello, and Beth Hundt)
  • "Growing and Nurturing New Hires" (Ackard, Guertler, and colleagues)

"For me, this is affirmation of why I'm doing what I'm doing," said Ackard. "To create experiences for students is an investment in the future of healthcare. I'm really proud of our work and our team."