Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the official launch of its newly expanded, 15,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Simulation Centerin the Research Park at FAU in Boca Raton.
Community leaders, donors and FAU officials gathered for a special unveiling of the center, which provides sophisticated simulation and trainer technologies to educate medical students, medical residents, nurses and first responders. The advanced technology utilized throughout the center improves their clinical skills, enhances critical thinking, and enables them to become more self-assured in their skills while under the supervision of trained instructors.
“We are able to celebrate the launch of this new Clinical Skills Simulation Center because of the generous support we have received from the Quantum Foundation, Palm Healthcare Foundation and our Florida legislature,” said Phillip Boiselle, M.D., dean of FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. “This expanded center will allow us to increase the reach of our high-tech, high-touch training to continue to improve health care for so many people in our surrounding communities.”
Jeff Atwater, FAU’s vice president for strategic initiatives and CFO, also participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. FAU’s first simulation center was launched in 2006 through a grant from the Quantum Foundation and support from the State of Florida Legislature. Atwater was instrumental in the launch of the first center and attended the first ribbon-cutting ceremony while he was a state senator.
A recent $300,000 grant from the Quantum Foundation has enabled the expansion of this newest center, as well as the dedication of the “Quantum Foundation Technical Training Room.” FAU’s Clinical Skills Simulation Center and its second center, the Mollie Wilmot Pavilion in West Palm Beach, also has been funded by the Palm Healthcare Foundation.
Simulation exercises use high fidelity human-like mannequins that can simulate virtually any type of medical emergency. Simulation of various medical scenarios ensures that medical professionals can practice their skills hands-on in an environment that promotes problem-solving, critical thinking, and clinical skills integration. FAU medical students also practice their clinical skills and hone in on their bedside manner while working with “standardized patients,” who are actors posing as patients. Working with standardized patients enables them to self-reflect and improve their humanistic and empathetic approach to patients. The educational clinical scenarios greatly enhance the students’ communication skills and confidence before working with real patients.
“The Clinical Skills Simulation Center is the epitome of hands-on learning that our medical students as well as medical residents crave, and where they can apply real-world scenarios to what they are learning in school and out in the field,” said Sarah K. Wood, M.D., senior associate dean for medical education in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. “Standardized patients and these cutting-edge mannequins provide the ideal environment for them to learn the art of compassionate care and the critical skills required to react and respond to their patients’ needs.”
Since its inception, FAU’s simulation center has trained more than 3,000 practicing nurses, hundreds of medical residents, hundreds of medical students and has addressed the training needs for adult living and skilled nursing facilities. The center will continue to train all four years of FAU’s medical students. FAU’s medical school also is planning to provide inter-professional communication training as well as medical resident training to further expand collaborative clinical experiences for its participants.