Florida Atlantic University just unveiled a new skills center in Research Park in Boca Raton. The newly expanded, 15,000-square-foot Clinical Skills Simulation Center will provide sophisticated simulation and trainer technologies which will be used to educate medical students, residents, nurses and first responders. The advanced technology throughout the new skills center will help improve participants' clinical skills, enhance their critical thinking, and boost their confidence in their skill set.
The Clinical Skills Simulation Center was made possible with help from the Quantum Foundation, Palm Healthcare Foundation, and the State of Florida Legislature. Quantum Foundation gifted the university with a $300,000 grant which enabled the expansion of this center. Palm Healthcare Foundation helped to fund both the Clinical Skills Simulation Center and its second center, the Mollie Wilmot Pavilion in West Palm Beach.
The simulation exercises being held at FAU’s Clinical Skills Simulation Center will use high fidelity realistic mannequins that are able to simulate practically any type of medical emergency. Medical students will be able to practice their clinical skills and also perfect their bedside manner while working with “standardized patients”(actors posing as patients). Working with these “patients” will help students improve their humanistic and empathetic approach. There will be simulations of various medical scenarios to make sure that students receive hands-on skills training while enhancing their problem solving and critical thinking skills.
In a statement for FAU, Sarah K. Wood, M.D., a senior associate dean for medical education in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine said, “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. 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 the FAU first simulation center was launched, they have trained more than 3,000 practicing nurses, hundreds of medical residents and medical students. The expanded simulation center will continue to train all four years of FAU’s medical students. With the addition of the Clinical Skills Simulation Center complete, FAU is planning to expand the skills centers use to inter-professional communication training as well as medical resident training to expand collaborative clinical experiences.
This expanded Clinical Skills Simulation Center will help FAU increase its reach of high-tech training while continuing to improve health care in the community.