Connecting through the Simulation User Network: Zach Eastwood, Swedish Hospital, redesigns how pharmaceuticals are used in simulation

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Medical simulation environments provide unique training opportunities where skills can be refined and practiced until mastery is achieved. One of aspect of skill mastery is the use of pharmaceuticals.

Specifically, medical simulation gives healthcare professionals hands on training with medications so that they can practice drawing up medications from vials, administering the medications intravenously and non-intravenously, and completing accurate medication administration charting and documentation.

One way that Zach Eastwood, from Swedish Hospital’s medical simulation center, has improved the use of pharmaceuticals in simulation is by creating realistic medication labels to put onto refillable simulated vials, bags, and more. These medication labels look realistic, are barcode compatible with the simulated patient’s electronic health records, and meet accreditation standards. The only thing that sets them apart from the authentic medication is the clear, red label at the top that reads “SIMULATION: Not For Patient Use.” Additionally, these newly developed simulated drugs involve less risk and are less expensive.

The advancements that Eastwood has made in medication administration within the simulated environment is another example of how medical simulation is taking great strides to become more and more realistic.

Additionally, because Swedish Hospital and the Medical Simulation program at Big Bend Community College are both part of the Simulation User Network (SUN), Big Bend Community College has been able to benefit from the work that Eastwood has done at Swedish. We appreciate his work and contributions to medical simulation.

For more information about creating simulated medications in your simulation center, please contact Zach Eastwood at For questions about our Medical Simulation program at Big Bend Community College, please contact Andrea Elliott at 509-793-2125 or

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