How UVM’s new technology is training the next generation of doctors

BURLINGTON, VT (WCAX) – When you arrive at the hospital or doctor’s office, you want the best care. The professionals at the University of Vermont’s Lanner School of Medicine are ensuring that students in the emergency room or doctor’s office are trained to their highest potential before entering the real world.

Inside UVM’s Clinical Simulation Lab, you’ll discover the techniques, scenarios and feel of a tightly controlled hospital.

The lab works with two types of patients: actors trained to behave like real patients, and high-tech mannequins that simulate the human body and allow students to practice medical procedures.

“Being a surgical resident and learning how to practice surgery in a simulated environment is very rewarding,” said Dr. Berna Buyukozturk, resident of UVM Medical Center.

UVM medical students Dr. Berna Buyukozturk and Dr. Carolina Jirka uses simulators for conduit centerline installations.

“It gives us the ability to make mistakes, learn from them—why? and gain a lot of knowledge that we can bring into the clinical setting,” Jirka said.

Since this specific centerline program began in the Sim Lab setting, UVM Health Network reports a significant decline in centerline infections. Jirka credits the first-hand experience for this.

“We need to make some decisions in these situations, but also practice procedures,” Jirka said.

Around the corner from the Centerline program, second-generation manikins acquired by Sim Lab simulate lifesaving scenarios. They provide real-time readings, movement and sound.

The lab recently purchased infant, child and adult manikins to provide students with a range of patients.

“It’s a great environment,” said Sim Lab expert Jim Court.

Court has been working in the simulation lab since it opened, and has demonstrated the ability of mannequins to present a range of scenarios to lab participants.

Learners include not only UVM medical students, but also physicians and nurses from across the region who use the lab for their latest training and certification.

They’ve also branched out into partnering with local fire departments for EMS training and bringing in kids from the community to showcase healthcare work.

“Everyone thinks of doctors and nurses, but there are also phlebotomists, radiologists, sonographers, X-ray technologists,” Court said.

Court hopes that by watching the simulations, they will be inspired to pursue careers in healthcare, and by learning such techniques, doctors believe the practice will pay off for patients.

“I do think the simulation has made me a better surgeon and provider in the future,” Buyukozturk said. “Take these tools in real life and apply them to your practice.”

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