Dublin, Ireland has just become home to a state-of-the-art €80 million facility for educating and training medical professionals. The Royal College of Surgeons opened this new ten story building on York Street, making it the largest, most modern facility in all of Europe and one of the top five in the world.
The new building consists of places such as teaching rooms, a library, auditorium, study rooms and more. However, out of all its new features, their three story Surgical Simulation Centre is what stands out most with its advanced devices for teaching surgical skills.
The Surgical Simulation Centre has a Dry Lab where students can simulate surgical procedures ranging from colonoscopy and endoscopy to laparoscopy and ultrasound on virtual reality devices. Their Wet Lab can be used to practice surgical techniques on biological tissue, using animal organs and human cadavers. Another unique feature of this Centre is its full operating theatre where doctors and surgeons can simulate full procedures on high fidelity mannequins who can be programmed to simulate various conditions.
The theatre will also be adapted to simulate an intensive care unit and emergency department. Here surgeons will use mannequins to practice common medical emergencies as well as rare medical emergencies that you would not normally deal with on a daily basis. The Centre will also include a suite for students in obstetrics training with mannequins that simulate child birth. This will allow students to gain confidence experience the birthing process before experiencing it in real life.
In a statement for RTÉ, Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at RCSI said, “This new building represents a move away from the apprenticeship model, where undergraduate teaching of skills for medical, physiotherapy, pharmacy and physician associate students were learned on the job. Many of these skills will now be learned through the simulation of real situations, enabling essential skills to be learned and mastered before patients are operated on."
The new building also offers mock outpatient rooms, where volunteers help trainees to solidify their interpersonal skills as part of the Human Factors training course that is part of the surgical curriculum. Despite all these training areas, students will not be the only ones using these facilities. Qualified surgeons will also be given access to all the equipment in the building. This will allow surgeons to refresh their skills and learn new innovative techniques which will help their professional development.
The Royal College of Surgeons expects this facility to become a world class clinical learning environment and to provide a place for surgeons in Ireland as well as international surgeons to develop their skills.