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September 30, 2017

WCM-Q Launches Hi-Tech Medical Skills Lab

Students at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) are now learning to become doctors in one of the region’s most technologically advanced facilities after the college launched its modernized Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab (CSSL).
The newly expanded and upgraded state-of-the-art facility is now equipped with a wider selection of cutting-edge teaching aids that simulate real-world clinical situations, allowing students to gain the practical skills they need in a risk-free environment under the guidance of WCM-Q’s highly trained teaching faculty.

The hi-tech equipment includes uncannily lifelike medical mannequins that are able to simulate a vast range of symptoms, from a racing heartbeat and dilated pupils, to a swollen tongue or a full-blown seizure, among many others - 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.
The CSSL, 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. There is also a cardiopulmonary patient simulator and a variety of 3D anatomical models.
Simulation-based learning is a key emerging trend in the education of medical practitioners and numerous other health professions. Research has shown that students and qualified healthcare practitioners who practice and retain their expert skills in a simulated environment have markedly higher success rates in performing a variety of medical procedures and see a dramatic reduction in errors in patient care, thereby enhancing patient safety. They also show improved teamwork and inter-professional communication and enjoy greater professional fulfillment

Working with standardized patients allows medical students to develop critical interpersonal skills that help put patients at ease, while working in teams on practical tasks accurately recreates real-world clinical practice. Having begun with 12 standardized patients back in 2005, WCM-Q now has about 75 standardized patients.

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