SIM Wars is Back, Bigger

SIM Wars is about to get real. The scenarios for the competition showcasing team-based collaboration and life-saving skills might be simulated, but the patients — and their portrayed loved ones — are live.

Interacting with screaming or erratic patients as well as parents, spouses or other nervous loved ones adds a layer of complexity for the competitors.

“The goal of the SIM Wars scenarios is to suspend the disbelief of the participants as much as possible,” said Todd Vreeland, a consultant who worked closely with the organizers. “Human patients can give real-time feedback, verbal and non-verbal, in a manner that cannot be matched by a manikin.”

Starting today, 16 teams of four will begin facing off on two stages in the DisastER area of the exhibit hall. You can’t miss them; they flank the only full-size medical helicopter parked in the building.

Attendees who didn’t experience SIM Wars at Emergency Nursing 2017 in St. Louis are in for a treat. Each team will work to achieve the best possible outcomes for their patients in a mock ED, facing high-stakes scenarios in timed rounds. And with live patients and bystanders, anything could happen. 

The teams are pumped and poised to do battle for the coveted trophy, year-long bragging rights and an etched brass plate on a larger SIM Wars trophy gleaming in the front lobby of ENA headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois.

So far, only Legacy Health has its name on the trophy after ED nurses from several of the Portland, Oregon-area health system’s facilities won the inaugural SIM Wars tournament last year.

But the competition is stiffer this year. Legacy faced only seven other teams in St. Louis, but the tournament was so popular, the conference planning committee saw fit to allow as many as 16 teams to vie for the championship.

The teams with the highest scores advance in the tournament, with the top six scorers competing in the finals for the championship.