Training Virtually and Safely

Imagine a seven-room hospital where doctors gain a firm foundation in surgical techniques, hand-to-eye coordination and critical skills — all before they pick up a scalpel to operate on a real patient.

 

At Christiana Care Health System, we have a virtual hospital — the first accredited Level II Virtual Education and Simulation Training Center in the world and the only accredited center in Delaware — where the patients are high-fidelity simulators that breathe, speak, blink their eyes and respond to stimuli just like real patients. The computer-controlled manikins produce heartbeats, bowel sounds and blood-pressure readings to simulate various conditions.

 

Through our virtual center, doctors gain crucial experience dealing with high-risk conditions in a training environment that does not compromise patient safety. Previously, these skills were taught at the bedside as they occurred.

 

The 9,000-square-foot Virtual Education and Simulation Training Center is equipped with a trauma bay, an intensive-care unit, an operating room and standardized patient rooms, a working laparoscopy station with simulated tissues, an endoscopy/bronchoscopy simulator, 3-D visualization software and display, and more than 100 task trainers.

 

Our virtual hospital earned three-year accreditation as a Level II Education Institute from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) — the first accredited Level II Institute in the world and the only accredited center in Delaware.

 

Since its opening, the virtual hospital has so far provided more than 500 simulations, clocking 800 hours of training time for more than 3,000 attending physicians, residents, fellows, nurses, respiratory therapists, allied-health practitioners and medical, nursing and allied-health students. Today, postgraduate training programs, credentialing committees and licensing and specialty boards are all placing greater emphasis on using simulation modalities to train health care providers.

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Taken on March 23, 2010