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Inside Mayo: Practice Makes Perfect

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (KTTC) – There’s a familiar saying: Practice Makes Perfect.

That’s especially true in the medical field where a simple mistake can lead to serious, even deadly, consequences.

At Mayo Clinic’s Multidisciplinary Simulation Center in Jacksonville, Florida, innovative tools are being used to shape the future direction of medical training.

The Anatomage is one of those tools. It’s a virtual dissection table used by nurses, doctors and surgeons to train, rehearse, save time and lives.

Dr. Michael Maniaci is co-director of the Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville Simulation Center. He says, “You can print a 3-D image whatever you want. You want to 3-D print a tumor and practice off a tumor, you can do that.”

Dr. Maniaci says the Simulation Center builds on the century-old legacy of the Mayo founding brothers. Innovation. Integration. Technology. “Everything you can put together to give the best medicine to the patient. This is part of that.”

My journey through the Simulation Center took me to another practice tool, the CAE. It’s a high-tech ultra-sound trainer which, at first glance, looks like a simple mannequin.

IT Tech Specialist Conrad Dove says, “You can make it sick, you can make it pregnant, or having a heart attack. There are about 300 different scenarios.”

The simulation center is all about ‘hands-on’ training. And that’s where the rubber hit the road for me.

I didn’t expect to deliver a ‘practice’ baby while on tour of the birthing center, but handing over my camera, I donned garment and gloves, and got to work. The mannequin birth mother speaks and reacts to pain. It’s my job to bring her baby safely into the world.

Dr. Leslie Simon, co-director of the simulation center, says, “There’s no substitute for actually doing something. And this is an opportunity to do it in a safe place.”

A place that not only has nearly-realistic patients, but delivery, surgical and other rooms identical to ones found in the real hospital. Same monitors. Same medical equipment. Same colors on the walls, and tiles on the floor.

It’s an investment, but the reality of the simulation center is all about preparation for the reality of the hospital.

“You want it as close as possible. So when you react to that and get the steps down, you can do the same thing in real life,” says Dr. Maniaci.

“What it saves in patient safety and efficiency. And preventing errors costly to the patient and hospital. It pays for itself,” says  Dr. Simon.

Near the entrance of the Mayo Simulation Center is a quote on the wall. It’s by Dr. Will Mayo, dated 1927. It says, “There is no excuse today…to learn on the patient.”  And fortunately, technology at this Sim Center has already taken learning to new and exciting frontiers.

Tom Overlie

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