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Action-Based Learning

SAIT's School of Health and Public Safety is a leader in patient simulation education and offers practical, hands-on training in modern laboratory facilities and two state-of-the-art centres of excellence.

The Centre for Advanced Patient Care Simulation features sophisticated and realistic patient simulation manikins and provides vital training for students in the Respiratory Therapy and Advanced Care Paramedic programs, as well as several other Health and Public Safety programs.

The Centre for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging is a provincial diagnostic imaging network providing x-ray, ultrasound and nuclear medicine training to students in the Medical Radiologic Technology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Nuclear Medicine Technology programs.

With an investment of over $6 million in infrastructure and specialized equipment, the centres provide real-world experience in a safe clinical setting.

The Centre for Advanced Patient Care Simulation opened in 2005 with an investment of nearly $1 million in the facility, equipment, curriculum and faculty education. The Centre expanded in 2011, with $300,000 in infrastructure upgrades courtesy of Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, to enhance the existing facilities with additional clinical space and a viewing hallway for observing simulation exercises. The expanded lab was also resourced with $100,000 in new equipment.

The lab realistically re-creates a clinical environment and a fully functional treatment area within the back of an ambulance. The Centre is stocked with sophisticated and realistic patient simulation manikins that can mimic human physiological parameters such as breathing, pulses, blinking, speaking. Students interact with the manikins as they would real patients, assessing, making treatment decisions, and then applying the treatment and observing responses, all within a typical health care team setting.

The philosophy of the Centre is to provide students with a realistic environment in which they can safely make mistakes and learn from them, better preparing them for experience in the real world. Students are challenged with difficult patient care problems that can be recreated again and again until confidence and competence are achieved. Students typically find the simulation environment one of the most challenging and enjoyable parts of their learning at SAIT.

The Centre for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging offers students real-world x-ray, ultrasound and nuclear medicine technology experience in a clinical setting. Five labs and two classrooms provide students with hands-on training. These spaces represent the health care and clinical environment they will encounter during practicum placements and in their careers.

Centre for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Upgrades

In 2007, SAIT invested in replacing one of our used x-ray systems with a DigitalDiagnost system from Philips Medical Systems. In addition, Agfa Canada donated a PACS system with three medical viewing workstations which allow our students and faculty to share, store and access lab images digitally.

In 2008, the Centre for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging at SAIT received $4.7 million in infrastructure upgrades, courtesy of Alberta Advanced Education and Technology to create a provincial diagnostic imaging network. We used the money to purchase three brand new digital x-ray systems, seven ultrasound machines, two SPECT/CT cameras, one SPECT gamma camera and ten Nuclear Medicine Technology/Computed Tomography workstations.

Thanks to these upgrades, SAIT students are better prepared for the workforce with training on modern equipment. SAIT also helped improve health care in Guatemala through the donation of two of our used ultrasound machines

History of Diagnostic Imaging at SAIT

Diagnostic Imaging began at SAIT in 1975 with two faculty members in the Nuclear Medicine Technology program.

In December 1999, Alberta Learning and Alberta Health and Wellness initiated a process to expand education for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, shifting from hospital-based programs to education-based programs. In 2001, the portfolio grew to ten faculty members and in 2003 the first cohort of Diagnostic Medical Sonography students to be trained in all modalities (general, vascular and echocardiology) graduated.

SAIT's Medical Radiologic Technology program began in September 2003, as a result of recommendations from the Provincial Diagnostic Imaging Steering Committee to ensure a steady supply of graduates across the province.

The Centre for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging was also inaugurated in 2003 with the creation of new lab space and two dedicated classrooms. The labs were outfitted with gently used equipment, between 7-31 years old, donated or purchased from our clinical partners.

Today, our labs feature modern equipment and we are proud to have inter-provincial partnerships with both the Saskatchewan and Manitoba governments.

We have leading-edge faculty, who are committed to providing quality education in a practical, hands-on environment as well as by distance technologies across our distributed practicum sites.

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