Japanese Delegation Visits SMU’s Simulation Lab

A team of nursing scholars from Seirei Christopher University (SCU) in Hamamatsu, Japan, completed a three-day visit of the Health Sciences Simulation Center (HSSC) Thursday, where the delegation learned how the university’s state-of-the-art center helps train future nurses.
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The three-person team from SCU, which formally celebrated an exchange agreement with SMU in Nov. 2013, expressed amazement with the verisimilitude of the university’s simulation center.

“The equipment and technology used here is impressive,” said Mitsuko Hirano, professor at SCU’s School of Rehabilitation Sciences. “Our students practice on each other, but we do not have the mannequins, machines, or video equipment. It’s very rare for Japanese nursing schools to have such equipment. It appears as if students here are working in a real hospital, and that can only help them better prepare for their careers.”

The delegation also toured classrooms, sat in on presentations from SMU faculty discussing innovative teaching techniques, and attended a formal dinner Thursday evening where the guests were presented with gifts of gratitude from Sharon Diaz, CEO and President of SMU.

“We’re honored to host such distinguished guests,” Diaz said. “We are privileged to have such committed colleagues in healthcare education and are proud to open our doors to them.”

Emiko Shinozaki, associate professor of fundamental nursing at SCU, said she was most impressed with the university’s use of standardized patients – trained actors who role-play ailments for students. Shinozaki said such scenarios would be of critical help to Japanese nursing students, and particularly when working with elderly patients who show symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

“In Japan, our population is aging very rapidly,” Shinozaki said. “It would help our young students to work with professional standardized patients, who can present those symptoms as real as possible. They would know what to look for.”

“We have learned a lot from our friends at SMU,” Hirano said. “We can’t wait to share it with our colleagues back home.”

pictured top left: SCU team with SMU President Sharon Diaz, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Dr. Arlene Sargent, Executive Director, Planning & Business Development Cynthia Ulman, and Simulation Technologist Kevin Reilly

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