SIM Scenario Exchange

Mass Spectrometry: Troubleshooting

Contributed on July 4, 2022, last updated February 10, 2023.



Michele Sykes, Red River College

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Never seen a mass spectrometer in action? No worries. This virtual gaming simulation puts the learner in the driver’s seat as an entry level medical laboratory technologist who utilizes a mass spectrometer within the newborn screening department in our virtual Affinity Laboratory. This simulation will focus on the troubleshooting aspects of mass spectrometry including an instrument and procedural review, identification of issues, and implementation of corrective actions that would otherwise not be available to all learner’s during their clinical experience.

Learning Objectives:

– Correlate the principles of mass spectrometry to instrument components by exploring mass spectrometry instrumentation and following an expanded newborn screening procedure.

– Identify common issues and sources of interference related to mass spectrometry through the assessment of data.

– Initiate appropriate troubleshooting strategies to correct issues identified with the mass spectrometer.

Simulation Modality:

Virtual gaming simulation / virtual patient


This simulation’s scenario and script were formally peer-reviewed by two external institutions, then the final simulation was pilot tested by several students on a student testing committee then as part of the Virtu-WIL Student Program’s rollout.


055, Affinity Learning, Lab procedures


Sykes M. Mass Spectrometry: Troubleshooting. Simulation resource published by Simulation Canada; 2022. Available from

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Target Learners




Medical Laboratory Science


Undergraduate / post-secondary

Fields / Disciplines:


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