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Simulation Field Trip Offers New Possibilities

0919-SimulationSimulation as an educational tool has evolved in recent years to become a vital element of most medical institutions. Saturday, a group of otolaryngologists experienced some of the latest advances in simulation at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical School and left with ideas to expand simulation education even more.

“UCSD has a comprehensive simulator center, so this was an exciting opportunity to see a local resource with great capabilities,” said Ellen S. Deutsch, MD, MS, chair of the Academy’s Simulation Education Committee. “It let otolaryngologists explore what opportunities are out there and how people take advantage of simulation centers. It is a novel opportunity, and it was the first time this was done at an Academy meeting.”

The UCSD center highlighted robots for surgery, a virtual temporal bone procedure, suturing stations, a demonstration of teamwork, and a session with a standardized patient where health care professionals learn to better communicate with patients.

“We designed this experience so people could get a sampling of a variety of simulation modalities,” Dr. Deutsch said. “The idea is to get their hands on the simulators to get some idea of their capabilities. A lot of times these concepts make more sense when you have your hands on the equipment.”

But the experience also was an opportunity for faculty members to get ideas for their own simulation centers at home or to teach other health care professionals.

“It was a great opportunity for people to see what is going on in simulation around the country,” said Gregory J. Wiet, MD, MBS, professor of otolaryngology, pediatrics, and biomedical informatics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University. “Whether you are already involved in it or just getting into it, I think it was a great experience to try a lot of different applications of simulation training. I do research in a simulator-type development and I am a member of the Academy Task Force that looks at how we can use simulation for training in all aspects.”

Mark K. Lavigne, MD, Laurinburg ENT Clinic, Laurinburg, NC, was impressed with the temporal bone procedure simulator that gives the user tactile feedback when drilling into a bone.

“It was an excellent program to practice our skills and to see the ways that are being taught today,” he said. “I think it was very realistic. For me, I would like to take some of that back home and maybe help train some of the paramedical folks, the Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)s, and the nurses.”

The Simulation Field Trip at UCSD was supported by Atos Medical, Inc.; Karl Storz Endoscopy America; OtoSim; Voxel-Man; and Zimmer Biomet.

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