A Q & A with Daniel Jones, MD, MS, FACS
Dr. Dan Jones, Chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discusses the Shapiro Simulation and Skills Center.
Q: What is the Shapiro Simulation and Skills Center?
Dr. Jones: We started this project in 2003 by putting high-tech training boxes in front of one of my offices to teach students how to tie surgical knots. People said, 'You're going to have to find a bigger place because it's going to get pretty crowded.' And they were right. The students loved it.
So we ended up building a rather large space in the basement of the Shapiro building. We added a teleconference center so we could have communication with teaching programs around the world and a mock OR so we could simulate what happens in a real OR setting. What happens if we suddenly drop the blood pressure on our fake victim? Or if he begins bleeding internally? How will the team respond? The idea is to make medical students and physicians who just want to practice better at what they do.
Q: Who uses the Center?
Dr. Jones: Residents, nurses, anyone who wants to get better. We even host events for high school students interested in perhaps going to medical school someday. We've welcomed the cub scouts, morning news programs, Channel 5's Chronicle, and the Discovery Channel. The game show Jeopardy was even here to film at one point.
Q: Talk about one of your most memorable moments in the Skills Center.
Dr. Jones: We talk about the skills you learn in here as making a difference to your training. Just last year, two interns came in for a session. They did great in the training. They left here and encountered the same event and did everything correctly and saved a life. A similar story involved a nurse who worked at Beth Israel Deaconess for 30 years. Her simulation taught her how to use a defibrillator pad. She had criticized the simulation as being too "set up." Yet she was one of the first respondents in a cardiac arrest a few days later and had to use a defibrillator. She saved a life. She believes strongly in the training now.
Q: How will these kinds of Centers be used in the future?
Dr. Jones: The future is now. Medical students are already being tested in simulation environments to get their licenses. For many specialties, docs, sometimes nurses, come in, and they have a check list. When mistakes occur, do the appropriate folks in the room speak up? Is there communication that is clear and timely and in the patient's best interest? With simulation, you can go after problems before they happen and fix them. Perfect practice makes perfect. This ensures that a culture of patient safety is at the forefront of training and when students graduate from the program, this culture becomes part of who they are.
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Posted July 2012