Practice makes perfect
Enhancing patient safety and educating health professionals through sound practice and innovative research is the goal of the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre (uOSSC).
The Centre will cater to the medical simulation needs of health care providers, such as physicians, nurses and residents, who will learn to perform complex procedures in a safe environment for both the patient and the learner. The Centre has examination and operation rooms, some of which are exact replicas of those found at The Ottawa Hospital. Several of these rooms are equipped with one-way glass mirrors through which trainers and professors can follow the action step by step, and supervise the performance of each intern, whose knowledge, skills and leadership qualities are truly put to the test.
These health care professionals use cutting edge patient simulators, able to replicate human physical reactions, for hands-on training and experience in how best to care for patients through simulation.
Teaching through simulation involves a wide range of educational and research tools. Part-task trainers are anatomically-correct models made of plastic that replicate body parts. They allow health care professionals to practice and repeat procedures. Full body mannequin simulators breathe, have a pulse, generate heart sounds and talk. Most importantly, these sophisticated machines respond accurately to medication, fluids and chest compressions. These computer-driven mannequins help to recreate the patient care environment of a hospital ward, an emergency room, an intensive care unit and an operating room. Simulation can provide the best hands-on education with no risk to patients, allowing for improved patient safety and continued world-class care.
The Centre is a partnership of The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. It is the largest centre in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The uOSSC will enhance patient safety by improving education opportunities for health care professionals and informing best clinical practice through innovative research.
By Nadine Saint-Amour
Published: October 2010
Grand opening of the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre
Photos: Mélanie Provencher