The NorthStar Institute Simulation Lab

One of the few dedicated end-of-life hospice simulation labs in the U.S., and the first in the Midwest, the NorthStar Simulation Lab* offers cutting-edge, hands-on tools and resources to provide hospice clinicians advanced, real-world training and education focused on the mastery of both technical skills and facilitating effective conversations around death and dying.

With its highly innovative simulation-based tools, resources, and education, simulation-based clinical training provides opportunities to hone clinical and decision-making skills through real-life situations without compromising patient dignity. This investment in advanced training ensures that Arbor Hospice clinicians are prepared to provide the highest quality care and meet the complex physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and families at end-of-life.

*Six additional Advanced Skills Labs are being constructed at regional sites: Gaylord, Traverse City, Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, Cadillac and Southfield.

Simulation Lab Components:

A fully furnished, real-life patient bedroom featuring two LifeCast Manikins – one adult and one pediatric – including equipment needed to videotape training simulations.

An Advanced Skills Lab* fitted with the equipment necessary to practice -on-demand clinical skills with highly-trained Regional Nurse Preceptors.

An adjacent Debriefing Room, or classroom, for clinical and instructional staff to review videotaped SIM Lab training sessions.

“Most of our clinical staff come to us never having worked with dying patients. How do you teach them to have those crucial conversations? The cutting-edge centralized Simulation Lab, coupled with regional Advanced Skills Labs, will help us teach these skills to make sure our staff are fully-prepared to get it right every time.”

–Rachel Derry, RN, Director of the NorthStar Institute, 20-year hospice nurse

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Practicing hands-on procedures under the guidance and direction of a highly-trained hospice educator, clinicians “interact” with patients in a safe and realistic environment, promoting confidence and competence.
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“Training staff to provide exceptional care to patients in a safe, well-resourced, hands-on environment allows us to get all aspects of care aligned. The lab provides endless opportunity to prepare clinicians for real-world scenarios.”

--Alison Walker, Education & Research Specialist, NorthStar Institute
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With highly accurate, anatomically correct features, NorthStar Simulation Lab’s LifeCast baby offers an unrivalled opportunity to help Hospice of Michigan clinicians prepare for the most vulnerable and challenging of patients.
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Clinicians have the opportunity to practice and engage in true-to-life scenarios where they receive critical real-time feedback that helps build confidence and improve communication with patients and families.
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Simulation-based training helps clinicians develop decision-making skills and gain experience in procedures that would otherwise be difficult without putting patients at risk.
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The NorthStar Simulation Lab assures that Hospice of Michigan clinicians receive the education and training needed to deliver unsurpassed end-of-life care.

About LifeCast Manikins – The World’s Most Realistic Clinical Teaching Tool

Fabricated from the 3-D scans of human patients whose bodies were donated to science, these ultra-realistic teaching tools feature anatomical details that are highly accurate and life-like, replicating veins and underlying structures; hand-punched hair; precise anatomical mouths and airways.

LifeCast Manikins are designed to encourage more natural handling. During education and training interactions, clinicians often experience an emotional response.