As one who is in the infancy of our program, I can tell you to make as much advanced preparation as you can, but be prepared for the unexpected- it will happen! We are currently moving into a recently closed surgery center and, while we don't have to worry about the hospital setting, there are a lot of mannequin instillation issues. How do you create control rooms with fixed ceilings, who is the best company to assist with this (we are using KbPort). What types of mannequins do you need. Can you grow in stages to keep start up costs down, starting with a mix of low, medium and high fidelity and gradually adding more of the high fidelity.
You do have advantages that university based labs may not- especially in the area of equipment- hospital beds, stretchers, wheelchairs, crash carts etc. We simply get the hand me downs, but they are in good working order and that is hwat counts! We even managed an anesthesia machine!
My current project is one you are going to want to start from the very beginning- barcoding and tracking your mannequins. My spreadsheet has Barcode #, Maker, Name, Description, Nick Name (we name them all), Cost, Serial #, Received Date, Location and Room. This can help you keep track of all their data. I also have an electronic folder with all their downloaded instruction manuals as well as their info from the internet with their pictures. Hard to keep them all straight somethimes!
Also, we couldn't do this without partnering with others in the community. We are working with the local fire department (my co worker is a retired fire chief) and in return they lent us a SimBaby, we're working with the public health nurses, so the gave us several low fidelity and a couple medium, in addition the state department of public health gave us a grant that we are using to pay for some AV instillation and several mannequins. Our primary hospital is including many hours of simulation in the new nurse residency so they are also buying several things for us. We really couldn't make it without them!
There are also many who can't give you anything, but you may want to partener with anyway- 2 of our local high schools medical prep programs are going to come monthly and work on putting what they are learning into practice. They can't give us anything but the reminder of what it was like to be young and excited about a future in the medical field. That is priceless!
So, that is where we are currently, if you have any specific question, please ask. NLN was also going to have an on line course on setting up a lab- came too late for me, but it might prove helpful- http://sirc.nln.org/
Barbara K. Ratliff RN, BSN, MBA
Baptist Health Montgomery, AL
Institute for Patient Safety
and Medical Simulation