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Simulation Lab

The Simulation Lab is a student-centered, safe learning environment that fosters a culture of innovative, collaborative learning through clinical simulation. This is an environment where students and staff are able to develop their communication skills, decision-making, and critical thinking skills and enhance their clinical reasoning.

Simulation can best be defined as an activity/task that produces an experience for an individual without going through a real-life event. In health sciences, education simulation is used for patient interactions through role-playing, clinical scenarios, procedures as well as team-based activities such as care of in-patients, a complete resuscitation scenario etc. The aim of simulation teaching is to develop competent reflective practitioners through structured scenarios and debriefing sessions. The Sim Lab’s video capacity allows for this structured debriefing for all simulations which promotes the development of reflective practitioners.

The Simulation Lab coordinator can assist with the inclusion of simulation teaching within a curriculum, creating specific simulation scenarios and setting up the environment to best meet the learning objectives of the session. The Simulation coordinator can also develop and facilitate the sessions as needed by the teaching team.

The Simulation lab can be found on the 4th Floor in Wits Medical School, 4B24.

For more information on all things simulation related contact the Simulation Lab coordinator:

Ms. Nabeela Sujee – / 011 717 2548

Important Definitions

Simulation-based education: Simulation-based education (SBE) is increasingly used to help learners and health professionals develop their knowledge, skills and behaviors, particularly around clinical skills and procedures (although SBE is wider than simply procedures). The simulation pedagogy allows students to develop their critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills in a safe simulated environment through structured experience and effective feedback and debriefing techniques. Simulation-based education also allows for inter-departmental collaborations to take place to foster a culture of interprofessional learning.

Simulation Laboratory: A simulation laboratory is strategically designed to serve the purpose of simulation-based education. The simulation lab may be designed in various ways so that it may best allow for the event/activity to produce and mimic a real experience. The simulation lab aims to provide a safe space for various scenarios to be played out to meet specific learning objectives. This space prevents unsafe practice and harm to patients and aims to improve the healthcare system and healthcare for patients through structured scenarios and debriefing techniques.

Fidelity: Fidelity is commonly used to describe how life like a simulation is, it is often also used to describe the manikin fidelity (physical appearance, functional task alignment and realism). High fidelity manikins refer to how life-like the manikin can be e.g.: SimMan, SuperTory. Low fidelity manikin refers to the manikin without any enhanced features or built-in feedback mechanisms e.g.: Pap smear manikin, airway manikin. A high-fidelity simulation may have a low fidelity manikin but will be high fidelity due to the simulation scenario, role playing and feedback opportunities 

Task Training: Task-oriented training involves practicing real-life tasks, with the intention of acquiring or reacquiring a skill. These skills may not require any element of simulation pedagogies or teaching tools.

Purpose of the CHSE simulation laboratory in the faculty of health sciences: The Simulation Lab aims to empower educators and healthcare professionals in the pedagogy of simulation to enhance the learners educational experience and improve patient outcomes. We strive to assist departments with strategies to enhance their educational approaches through simulation. This will be done through:

  • Providing support and faculty development workshops on simulation based education
  • Capacitating educators to teach using simulation in the sim lab with the simulation coordinator
  • Designing and facilitating simulation activities for various departments/ groups of students to meet learning objectives
Simulation Laboratory capabilities
  • Large debriefing area (seats approx. 20 people), this area has projector, 2 screens that can project from the camera in the larger simulation room. (This space can be turned into a multi-bed ward set up for simulated in-patient scenarios).
  • 2 Medium sized simulation rooms, Room equipped with: defibrillator, suction, hospital bed, medium fidelity manikin, equipment trolley, cardiac trolley
  • 1 observation room for the 2 medium sized simulation rooms
  • 1 large simulation room, equipped with camera, speaker, high fidelity manikin, defibrillator, suction, large white board, equipment trolley, cardiac trolley
  • 1 observation room for the large simulation room

NB: Each of the rooms can be designed to suit the needs of the simulation scenario.

Equipment within the Simulation Laboratory

The Simulation Lab has the following equipment that can be used/ borrowed for teaching and learning:

  • High, medium and low fidelity full and half body manikins (Adult, child, neonate)
  • Basic and advanced airway equipment (inclusive of various oxygen masks, intubation equipment and adjuncts)
  • Defibrillators
  • Various drugs for IV simulation
  • Intravenous access equipment
  • Obstetric and gynaecological task trainers
  • Femoral line trainers
  • And more!

Contact us for more information!

Booking the Simulation Lab

Booking Guidelines for teaching activities in the Simulation Laboratory:

  • Link to view Sim lab availability: (FAHS Tools link)
  • The Simulation laboratory can be booked by any school/faculty/ external course that seeks to utilize a simulation environment to achieve their learning objectives.

Wits Health Sciences undergraduate and postgraduate students may book the lab in groups and liaise with the simulation coordinator to facilitate a simulation session.

  • Bookings to be made at a minimum of one week in advance (email: for the documents to complete for booking the Sim Lab)
  • Bookings are also dependent on the needs of simulation set up and prep time prior to the booking date.
  • Booking requests to provide information as per booking form (Time per session, Number of students per session, activity type, facilitator needs, simulation scenarios/ teaching description, room/environment set up, equipment set up, debriefing approach) 
  • Bookings will be given for sessions that utilize simulation as a pedagogy. (this does not have to always include use of high fidelity manikins but can use low fidelity with simulation approach)
  • This will include completing pre-briefing template, scenario template/ teaching description, debriefing template
  • The Simulation Lab team will provide assistance with:
  • Developing simulation scenarios, teaching, and debriefing tools.
  • The environment set up and equipment needs
  • Technology set up and troubleshooting
  • The Simulation lab can be booked for assessments that include simulation in the assessment format.
  • The simulation team can take requests for simulation training as part of faculty development who wish to incorporate simulation into their curriculum.
  • The simulation lab is intended for activities that utilise simulation as pedagogy. The space should not be booked for activities that do not incorporate an element of simulation. Equipment from the lab can be requested for use at external venues where task-orientated training can occur (link to MS Forms for equipment request).