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In December, the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the College of Nursing Simulation and Learning Innovation Center (SLIC) was granted accreditation in the area of Teaching/Education by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH).

SSH is the largest organization dedicated to medical simulation. The non-profit, membership society supports the development and science of medical simulation and developments in the growing and changing world of simulation-based education in healthcare. According to SSH, there are four purposes of healthcare simulation: simulation education, simulation-based education, simulation-based research, and systems integration. 

The SSH accreditation process examines how a simulation center is performing using high standards recommended by SSH. A center must show compliance with the criteria associated with seven core standards: mission and governance, program management, resource management, human resources, program involvement, and expanding the field. 

In addition, the simulation center must show proficiency in the one or more of the other areas, which include assessment, research, teaching and education, systems integration, and fellowship.                             

According to the SSH, working with simulations allows for errors with the need for expert intervention. "By seeing the outcome of their mistakes, learners gain powerful insight into the consequences of their actions," as stated by the SSH website. 

The UAH CON has been working on the SSH accreditation for years. "Although the process has been tedious and challenging, the accreditation designation is very gratifying because it affirms the SLIC is using best practices to educate students," says Mary Deason, MSN, RN, CHSE, SLIC Manager. 

The SLIC is a 10,615 square-foot state-of-the-art facility located on the third floor of the nursing building. Students in the CON are able to apply their knowledge in many different medical scenarios. The SLIC has a 16-bed hospital lab, a 16-table assessment room, collaboration stations, four advanced practice provider clinical examination rooms, a telehealth room, a Pyxis medication room, and debriefing rooms. The SLIC provides a mock hospital for clinical experiences, including seven high-fidelity simulation laboratories with digital video and audio management systems, four medical-surgical suites, an ICU suite, and an obstetric/pediatric four-bed laboratory.