Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Early adoption of simulation technology has made EVMS a national model

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According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, simulation is arguably the most prominent innovation in medical education over the past 15 years. Since its inception, EVMS has embraced simulation as a benefit to students. Today, the Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning at EVMS is a model for educational institutions across the country.

EVMS is home to one of two Immersive Virtual Environments (IVE) in Hampton Roads. The IVE houses a virtual operating room, co-developed with ODU, which gives learners the opportunity to perform surgical tasks interacting with avatars.

EVMS continues to be an innovator in developing new ways to use technology to teach common medical procedures and to provide students with a safe environment in which to practice and perfect their techniques.

Manikin-based simulators

Manikins are designed to assist learners in identifying and responding to conditions in a way that’s similar to how they would respond in a real-life situation. The center has pregnant manikins that can deliver babies, newborn, older baby and child manikins that are used to train pediatric-specific techniques and, lastly, standard adult manikins/advanced patient simulators that can display neurological as well as physiological symptoms. These manikins are relatively simple to operate and some feature innovative technology such as automatic drug recognition.

A living canvas

EVMS was among the first medical schools in the country to use standardized patients and has remained a leader in the field. Standardized patients are highly-trained individuals who portray patients — to teach students how to perform clinical exams and how to communicate effectively with patients. A standardized patient’s body is the students’ learning canvas.

Tools of the trade

Students and residents use the Laparoscopic Surgery Trainer to learn how to use the tools necessary to perform laparoscopic surgery.

Once they’ve learned how to use the tools, students move to the Laparoscopic Virtual Simulation trainer to practice performing a procedure with these tools.

Leading-edge ultrasound skills

The center was key in the development of the ultrasound education initiative at EVMS. It has developed training models, educational methodologies and phantom trainers to solve some of the challenges of training large numbers of medical professionals with the necessary skill sets to fulfill their future roles as leaders in ultrasound facilitated medicine.