Healthy Living: Colonoscopy training
Doctors in public city hospitals now have a new, virtual training tool on their hands for colonoscopies and other gastrointestinal procedures.
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It's kind of like a video game. But the end result could have a more serious outcome of saving real lives. Doctors in public city hospitals now have a new, virtual training tool on their hands for colonoscopies and other gastrointestinal procedures. It's yet another addition to the city's Institute for Medical Simulation and Advanced Learning.
Dr. Meade Barlow, Surgical Resident said, “The way it works is they give you a case presentation. patient x comes in with these symptoms and these are the tests and you start from the very beginning. You do a colonoscopy from the very beginning all the way through the end of a procedure and you can expect to see what you would see in real life doing a colonoscopy.
The simulator actually warns trainees if they are harming the patient or about to cause an error, something that sometimes can't happen in an actual procedure.
In the past year alone the public hospital system performed about 22,000 colonoscopies. They removed polyps in nearly 5,000 patients and they say training methods like this can only help to improve outcomes.
Katie Walker, RN Director or the Institute for Medical Simulation and Advanced Learning said, “It actually means when the trainees get to do their colonoscopy for the first time. They might have actually practiced 10 or 20 times previously so that patient will actually experience a trainee who knows what they are doing before they do that colonoscopy so it is a great move forward for health care.”
Of course this is just an added step before working on actual patients. Residents still train with specialists before moving from virtual procedures to reality.
Barlow said, “There is nothing better than an actual patient but the amount you can learn from every time you do it on an actual patient depends on what you go in with. And going with more skill makes you able to learn more and protect the patient better.”