This weekend during the Medicine 2.0 Congress, Medgadget had the opportunity to visit one of Stanford’s four Centers for Immersive and Simulation-Based Learning. At the labs, medical instructors utilize live actors and high-tech mannequins to teach various skills (if you’re CPR certified, this is a similar type of training).
To the average person, the simulation labs may appear as some sort of twisted fun house or museum. But to med school teachers and professionals, the labs contain the latest in medical simulation technology in a new, world-class facility.
The facility is expansive, taking up nearly the entire ground floor of the building that it’s housed in. Nearly every room in the lab is wired and contains video cameras for students and teachers to watch each other and evaluate their performance. Our first stop, after passing by a display of the first simulator devices used at Stanford, was a mock trauma room. Calmly laying at one end of the room was a badly dressed female mannequin, complete with the ability to breathe and blink. The scene, which looks like the resuscitation of Norman Bates’ mother, is ideal for training, as instructors can turn a stable patient into one who has gone into cardiac arrest or some other state. At students’ disposal are devices such as defibrillators, EKG’s, and other tools to use on the patient.
Here’s a closer look at the simulator mannequin:
Behind the mirrored glass in many of the large simulator suites are control rooms, which allow instructors to monitor students and change the condition of the patients with just a tap of a button.
Our next stop was a mock surgical suite. In it we found a “patient” all prepped for surgery. In this suite, students can learn skills for all kinds of procedures, from injecting meds, to monitoring vitals, to scrubbing properly. All the surgical devices, while not always functional, are actual devices that come from the hospital itself.
The labs also have various smaller mannequins of all ages for more specialized techniques such as an EKG or inserting a tracheotomy tube.
There are also a number of exam and hospital rooms. Typically, live actors will play the part of these patients, and students have the opportunity to learn important interpersonal skills necessary to be a doctor, such as how to inform family members of the death of their loved one.
No med school facility would be complete without classrooms and collaboration rooms. These rooms are equipped with cutting-edge instructional technology. An adjacent room to the one shown above is even slated to incorporate holographic technology once it becomes more commonplace.
There was much discussion this past weekend at Med 2.0 about the role of games and simulation in medical education. While no mannequin or simulation can replace real-world experience, the technology in the simulation lab can certainly benefit aspiring physicians.
More Information: CISL Immersive Learning Center