Collin College Healthcare SIM Lab vastly improved learning potential for simulation education by addressing the acoustics at their facility. This new teaching space opened in their Health Sciences Center in 2016. In working with the architect, they desired a solution to the terrible echo in the SIM lab. The reverberation was so awful, communication between the teachers and students was burdensome. They could not effectively communicate within their groups. This is when the school and the architect decided to contact Acoustical Solutions for an acoustic consultation.
The SIM Lab provides instructors a place to work with students on simulated patient cases. The instructors were interacting from a control center, separated from the students. Due to the poor room acoustics, attempting to monitor and interact using the intercom system was proving quite difficult. Students were unable to clearly hear the instructions provided during these simulated medical procedures. The large open space with a 28-foot-high ceiling was generating lots of reverberation, making it very difficult to hear the instructors. Likewise, the instructors had a hard time hearing the students. Students also had a lack of speech ineligibility at each of the workstations.
The upper walls of the simulation lab were treated with the AcoustiWall Fabric Stretch System. The fabric track easily conformed to cover 3,500 square feet of the curved wall spaces in this facility. This took care of eliminating echo throughout the room. To take this a step further, four foot by six foot Alphasorb® Acoustic Panels were installed into movable dividers between each work station. Each divider housed four of the the fabric wrapped panels to help control cross talk at ground level.
The Control Center Management and Staff, as well as the Facilities Management Team are very happy with the results. The instructors can now clearly communicate with each student during sessions over the intercom system. Efforts now focus on learning more from one another than guessing what each other might have said.