Simulation-based training to hone skills of WCM-Q pupils

 01 Oct 2017 - 8:46

Simulation-based training to  hone skills of WCM-Q pupils
Dr. Javaid I Sheikh, Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar; Dr. Stella Major, Director of Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab; and Lan Sawan, Manager of Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab with other officials cutting a cake to mark the official inauguration of the lab. Pic: Baher Amin / The Peninsula

By Fazeena Saleem | The Peninsula 

The region’s most technologically advanced facilities, equipped with a wider selection of modern teaching aids that simulate real-world clinical situations, is now available for students at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q). The newly expanded and upgraded state-of-the-art Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab (CSSL) was officially inaugurated on Thursday at the campus. 

At this modernised facility students will gain practical skills they need in a risk-free environment under the guidance of WCM-Q’s highly trained teaching faculty. 

Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean of WCM-Q, together with Dr. Stella Major, Associate Professor and Director of the CSSL and Lan Sawan, Manager of the CSSL inaugurated the facility during a ceremony held at the campus. 

Dr. Sheikh, said, “At WCM-Q we have always been enthusiastic early adopters of new technologies that enable us to continuously enhance the standard of education we offer to our students, and the re-Iaunched Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab adheres to this important principle. The -new facility not only brings WCM-Q up to date with the latest innovations in medical education but puts us ahead of the curve, which will be of enormous benefit to both our students and the patients they will care for after they graduate.” 

The CSSL is equipped with lifelike medical mannequins that are able to simulate a vast range of symptoms such as a racing heartbeat and dilated pupils, to a swollen tongue or a full-blown seizure and its all controlled remotely by a technician. Students working with the mannequins can practice responding to an almost limitless array of conditions as if they were in a real ER (emergency room), such as a cardiac arrest, respiratory infections, heatstroke or even childbirth.

Making it an exciting moment to the guests, Syeda Razia Haider, a third year student assisted a life-size birth simulator mannequin ‘deliver’ a simulator baby.  Sharing her experience Syeda said, “It’s a reflection of what happens in the labour room. The only thing missing was blood, than that it was very realistic. Even the baby has the weight and the cry of a real baby. You feel like you are real in the moment. It projected real emotion in the room.”

“It prepares us to real situations in the clinics or labour room with patients,” she added. 

The CSSL at the WCM-C, formerly known as the Clinical Skills Center, has been expanded from 8,500 to 10,500 square feet and now has 12 clinical examination rooms, up from six previously. Each examination room is fully equipped with diagnostic instruments for examining the ears and eyes and measuring blood pressure and temperature. Students learn to utilize these instruments under instructor supervision and with the help of ‘standardized patients’ - individuals trained to play the role of patients. Other facilities in the revamped suite include hi-tech training aids for practicing administering joint injections, taking blood samples, inserting intravenous lines and using portable ultrasound machines. CSSL also a cardiopulmonary patient simulator and a variety of 3D anatomical models.

Dr Major, said, “Students now have the chance to practice and perfect a wide range of communication and procedural skills before entering the real world of patient care. While in clinical training the students can also benefit from the center by using it to augment their skills and address their skill gaps and needs in a safe environment, to attain a very high level of proficiency. This will help them to be extremely well prepared for the demands of modern medicine.” 

The CSSL also has a newly updated high-definition audio-visual system with remotely controlled cameras placed in strategic locations. 

Enhancing and expanding the CSSL complements the integrated Six-Year Medical Program at WCM-Q which comprises a Two-Year Pre-Medical Curriculum and a Four-Year Medical Curriculum, both of which place more emphasis on the attainment of practical physcianship skills than tradition medical curricula. Upon graduation, students receive the same M.D. degree awarded to students at the Weill Cornell Medicine campus in New York.