Ever wonder how health-care workers get the training they need without the risk of making a mistake on a real patient?

The QEII Health Sciences Centre has unveiled its state-of-the-art simulation training facility where trainees can practice real-life scenarios.

“We can safely provide that high acuity scenario, performing and learning life-saving -- potentially life-saving procedures that, otherwise doing it in the clinical setting is too risky,” said Dr. George Kovacs of the QEII.

Kovacs is an emergency room physician, trauma team leader, medical director for the clinical cadaver program, and medical director for LifeFlight.

The new simulation bay is meant to train health-care professionals on real life scenarios on mannequins or cadavers.

“There are thousands of people that are living donors who have already committed to donate their body after death to the human body donation program that will allow us to learn and potentially save lives here,” said Kovacs.

Trainees work on the cadaver in the operating room and in a patient room under the watchful eye of their leaders in the “control room.”

Some sit in another room, where the scenario is streamed live and everyone can debrief afterward.

Dr. Brock Vair, the clinical lead of simulation at the QEII, says it will make a big difference.

“When I trained, now in the previous century, almost every clinical skill I learned and acquired and got better with was on a real person,” Vair said. “So, you can appreciate the challenge that would be, because to make a mistake on a real person is a major issue.”

It all cost $1.8 million and it was completely donor funded.

“As they conduct the simulation, you think it's real, because they take it very, very seriously,” said Bill bean, the QEII foundation president and CEO.“As Dr. Vair would tell you, much like pilots, you don't want to put a pilot in a plane and say ‘go figure it out.’”

Friday, the simulation bay opened up to its first trainees who are learning in simulation, before they try their hand at the real thing.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.