What's Up UA? - Virtual Clinic Showcases New Technology for Teaching Medical Students - The Explorer: University Of Arizona

What's Up UA? - Virtual Clinic Showcases New Technology for Teaching Medical Students

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 10:10 am

First-year medical students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix recently had the opportunity to put their knowledge to the test in the Arizona Center for Simulation and Experiential Learning, the "simulation lab" on the downtown campus that gives students real-life medical experience by "treating" mechanically controlled mannequins.

These "patients" can do almost everything humans do – they breathe, sweat and even bleed. From a control center, a facilitator can have the mannequin talk to the students and tell them what's wrong or "what hurts."

The simulation lab is an integral step in preparing students for the real challenges that come with medicine. During a recent exercise, the first-year students worked together as an emergency medical team designed to help them deal with the communication challenges that can come among nurses, radiologists and doctors, in the critical care setting. The case the students were working on involved a woman who had been stung by a bee and went into anaphylactic shock. The lab was set up to imitate a hospital emergency department.

"These are the kinds of things I was doing during my residency in emergency medicine," said Dr. Mark Solem, an emergency medicine physician. "You have to be ready to change as fast as the patient makes a change."

Located in the new Health Sciences Education Building, the simulation center is a new, state-of-the-art endeavor that combines technology with health-care-focused education. Students get to learn the difficulties faced every day in the medical world, no matter how much experience they have. The simulation lab can be set up to encompass a wide variety of situations, training the students for the world they will soon enter in real patient care.

"I am very excited about the tremendous potential for teaching and learning this simulation center offers," said Dr. Jennifer Hartmark-Hill, director of the capstones course at the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix. Hartmark-Hill said the lab can be set up to imitate a surgical room, a delivery room or an ordinary hospital room. "I think what that's going to do is have them walk away that much more invigorated to learn and to be prepared the next time they're in the same scenario."

Dr. Elaine Niggemann, director of the cardio-pulmonary-renal block at the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix, said the simulation lab was a chance for students to practice what they had been discovering after four weeks in the block and three weeks of physiology lectures.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for them to come in and apply what they have been learning," she said.

The simulation center has five different rooms in all, two of which can be set up as emergency rooms, one is a surgical room, the fourth is a regular hospital room set-up and the fifth is geared toward obstetric care. One of the emergency department rooms is pediatric-focused, with a child and a baby mannequin.

"The students have all the same tools that they would see in that environment," said Jim Rinehart, center manager. "We wish we had this when we went through school."

Rinehart stressed the many perks of having the simulation center available.

"For the students to learn patient care as well as the communication part and teamwork," he said. "It makes our students more confident. They can make mistakes here without worry that they're going to hurt or harm a patient."

Aaron Klassen was one of the first-year medical students in the recent ER exercise. He said the students were given basic information as would have been provided by the paramedics and not much else.

"It was a matter of piecing together what little we knew about that diagnosis," he said. "There's a sense of urgency when we have a mannequin in front of us."

Klassen will take away many things from the experience.

"The mannequin was very realistic; we could listen to breath sounds and heartbeats," he said. "I didn't expect them to be able to simulate something like edema in the legs."

Christie Moss, a fellow first-year, said the lab offered a new form of excitement that the students hadn't seen before.

"I was trying to figure out what we were doing, and I was getting excited because it was more than I anticipated we were going to do," she said. "I didn't realize we were going to have an emergency room patient in crisis."

Moss played the role of the intern on the emergency medical team in the exercise.

"The atmosphere was a little bit tense, but we were still thinking through things," she said. "There was a lot of thinking and problem-solving with my colleagues throughout."

"To have that experience of putting your stethoscope on the patient, and then looking at the heart rate monitor and thinking about what drug you just administered while your heart is racing and your patient's heart is racing, it's an interesting experience."

"You certainly don't forget it."

The simulation center provides a valuable and unprecedented way for the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix to distinguish both itself and its students. The technology and real-time interaction gives students the necessary tools they will need during their journey as a medical professional.

"This is the future of health care," Hartmark-Hill said. "They're going to need to do team-based care with all the implicit communication and sharing of medical knowledge."

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

MOS: Monsoon Season

We asked the community about the Monsoon Season.

Wednesday 06/11/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Undergrads Conducting Microgravity Research Aboard NASA's G-Force One

Monday 06/09/2014

What's up UA? - UA to Host U.S. and Mexico Officials Exploring Collaborations in Education, Innovation, Research

Thursday 06/05/2014

What's Up UA? - New Wilderness Medicine Class Hones Patient Care Skills in Rugged Conditions

Tuesday 06/03/2014

Track Cats Send Eight Athletes to TrackTown USA

Monday 06/02/2014

What's Up UA? - Bringing a Spacecraft Back From the Dead

Friday 05/30/2014

What's Up UA? - Heart Attack Patient Defies Odds with Tailored Surgical Treatment at UA Medical Center

Thursday 05/29/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Marketing Students Win National AT&T Competition

Tuesday 05/27/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists Discover Genetic Basis of Pest Resistance to Biotech Cotton

Friday 05/23/2014

What's up UA? - Four UA Students Picked for Pat Tillman Foundation Scholarships

Wednesday 05/21/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists Discover Genetic Basis of Pest Resistance to Biotech Cotton

Monday 05/19/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Tunnels Get Carbon Fiber Makeover

Thursday 05/15/2014

What's Up UA? - Earning a UA Degree, in a Grandfather’s Memory

Tuesday 05/13/2014

What's Up UA? - UA's Phoenix Cancer Center is 'Topped Off,' Joins Award-Winning Medical School Building

Thursday 05/08/2014

What's Up UA? - University of Arizona to Offer Nation’s First Bachelor of Arts in Law

Monday 05/05/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Combating Health Disparities to Build Healthier Communities

Wednesday 04/30/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists at the UA Make Critical End-Stage Liver Disease Discovery

Friday 04/25/2014

What's Up UA? - A Century-Long Track Record of Serving Arizona and Benefiting the State's Economy

Wednesday 04/23/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Opens Nation’s First Resource Center for Student Vets Studying Health Care UA Wildcat Instant Decision Days at PCC campuses April 29-May 2

Monday 04/21/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Scientists to Begin Construction on NASA Spacecraft that will Visit Asteroid in 2018

Thursday 04/10/2014

What's Up UA? - Spring Fling Celebrates 40th Anniversary With Return to UA Mall

Monday 04/07/2014

Mauga’s Walkoff Sweeps Stanford

Thursday 04/03/2014

What's Up UA? - 4-H Programs Bring Enrichment and Learning to Thousands in Arizona

Monday 03/31/2014

What's Up UA? - The Viruses You Don't Know About (Yet)

Tuesday 03/25/2014

What's Up UA? - Twice Torn Apart: A UA Alumna's Road to the Paralympic Games

Tuesday 03/18/2014

What's Up UA? - Tucson Village Farm Honored as Model Program for the Nation

Friday 03/14/2014

What's Up UA? - Several UA Graduate Programs Reach New Heights

Tuesday 03/11/2014

What's Up UA? - Olympics Interns Share Sochi Experiences

Friday 03/07/2014

What's Up UA? - Seeing Cancer Differently

Wednesday 03/05/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Offers Accelerated Bachelor's to Master’s Program in Environmental Health Sciences

Tuesday 03/04/2014

What's Up UA? - Third-Ranked Men's Basketball Heads to Corvallis to Face OSU

Friday 02/28/2014

What's Up UA? - UA College of Optical Sciences to Celebrate 50th Anniversary With Laser Fun Day

Thursday 02/27/2014

What's Up UA? - Obesity-Related Gut Bacteria Higher in People in Northern Climes

Monday 02/24/2014

Wildcats Sweep Sunday Doubleheader, Series From Alcorn State

Thursday 02/20/2014

What's Up UA? - First-Year UA Minority Student Retention Rate Highest Ever

Monday 02/17/2014

What's Up UA? - The Flu and You

Friday 02/14/2014

What's Up UA? - Miller to Add to Arizona’s USA Basketball Legacy

Wednesday 02/12/2014

What's Up UA? - $10M Gift to Optical Sciences is Largest Gift for Scholarships in UA History

Monday 02/10/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Study Shows Aggressive Management of Gunshot Wounds to Brain Significantly Increases Survival

Thursday 02/06/2014

Arizona Football Announces 2014 NLI Class

Tuesday 02/04/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Wind Quintet is Finalist in National Competition

Thursday 01/30/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Undergraduate Researcher Earns Prestigious National Award

Tuesday 01/28/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Renewed as a Tillman Foundation Partner

Thursday 01/23/2014

What's Up UA? - Thousands to Celebrate Chinese New Year at UA

Tuesday 01/21/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Mathematician Earns Presidential Early Career Award

Friday 01/17/2014

What's Up UA? - Prefer dry heat to arctic chill? Genetics might be the reason

Thursday 01/16/2014

Four Players Added to January Enrollee Group

Wednesday 01/15/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Study Shows Intensive Exercise Training Program for Dementia Patients Improves Care in Clinical Setting

Monday 01/13/2014

What's Up UA? - UA-Developed Avatar is Helping to Screen New Arrivals at Bucharest Airport

Friday 01/10/2014

What's Up UA? - The First and the Best in More Than Basketball
Spacer4px

Follow us on Facebook

Online poll