More and more universities and hospitals are investing in ways to improve hands-on training and patient safety. Medical simulation facilities offer students the experience and training that can’t always be taught in a classroom. This is the reason behind The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s decision to invest in a $37 Million medical simulation facility.

The 45,000 square foot, three-story building will have state-of-the-art exam rooms, hospital beds, operating tables, residential settings, and even a pharmacy. Medical students will render a unique learning experience where they will work together to cultivate team-building and hands-on training. The completion is scheduled for the fall of 2017.

Medical errors, globally and nationwide, are due to a lack of communication and Dr. Chad Epps, executive director of healthcare simulation at UTHSC believes this new facility will allow students to learn the importance of working as a team. “One way we can address that is by making sure that our students learn and understand the principles of teamwork and a bit part of that is how well you communicate with other members of the team,” said Dr. Chad Epps.

A unique layout will be intact for each of the three floors of the center that will also connect to a nearby general education build on UTHSC’s Medical campus.

The center will hold simultaneous simulations including, but not limited to, surgery, pharmacy, dental, exams, and emergencies so students in all medical fields being to experience what being in an actual hospital environment is like.

More specifically, the first floor will have hospital-bed skill stations and a home environment equipped with a bed, kitchen, and bathroom to fully simulate home visits. The second floor will be designed to simulate a hospital setting with regular and specialized patient rooms. Finally, the third floor will have a pharmacy and patient exam rooms.

The building was designed with a goal in mind of attracting medical students on a national level and improving the campus-like atmosphere.

The University of Tennessee isn’t the first university to invest in a simulation center. Hospitals and Universities nationwide are establishing and investing in simulation centers in order to improve patient safety and finding ways to teach medical students better communication and understand how vital team-building is in the medical field.