Skills & Simulation Center
One of the unique elements of the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga is the Skills and Simulation Center. This lab is an innovative and progressive facility providing a stimulating educational experience in a multidisciplinary learning environment.
The Skills Lab has two state-of-the-art operating rooms (up to 12 beds), micro-surgery rooms, an anatomical study room, and a classroom. Residents practice the latest surgical and resustivative techniques, and medical students are taught basic surgical skills and practices in the lab. The Skills Lab Director, Richard Cook, and designated faculty supervise the documentation and acquisition of medical skills, trial and practice of new techniques and procedures, maintenance and improvement of existing skills, and the development of teaching skills.
The Skills Lab provides early hands-on experience for Emergency Medicine residents. During orientation, the Skills Lab provides EM residents ample opportunity to practice techniques such as intubation, chest tube placement, pericardiocentesis, crycothyroidotomy, tracheostomy, venous cut-downs, arterial line placement, and central line placement. Specialized courses such as Advanced Trauma Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support are also conducted at the Skills Lab.
The high-fidelity, human patient Simulation Center is a state-of-the-art educational tool. Studies have shown that simulation can be used to reliably measure and demonstrate resident competencies in emergency and acute care management. The Simulation Center can take the form of a trauma bay, intensive care unit, emergency department, or a procedure room. The accompanying classroom has audio visual equipment with computer-controlled cameras, and state-of-the-art multimedia features.
The lifelike, electronically-controlled mannequins used in the Simulation Center enables participants to practice integrated medical care. A variety of medical emergencies can be replicated, such as a drug use situation. The traditional method of bedside training does not give the students as genuine of an experience as working with virtual, although tangible, patients. This laboratory provides a novel approach to education where not only medical care is taught, but we also create an environment where interpersonal, teamwork, and patient-safety skills can be demonstrated and tested.
Richard Cook, Skills Lab Director