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Mission: Improve Interdisciplinary Collaboration
The University of Toledo Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center (UT – IISC) has, as part of its mission, goals to train students in virtual immersive environments in order to produce medical graduates who excel in clinical practice and medical research. To help meet these goals, the IISC incorporates clinical simulation scenarios and 3D visualization technology with the aim of preparing learners for the safest possible clinical care of real patients.
Floor 1 is an immersive simulation floor where virtual reality tools are used to teach in the form of specialized displayed systems. This includes CAD walls and an iSpace, which Bill Schmidt of AVI-SPL describes as “the closest thing to a holodeck that we have on the planet.” “You can suspend a viewer’s belief system and put them into virtual worlds that can very closely approximate the real world. This is a very new way of providing teaching, especially in the medical field, and it offers a bunch of new possibilities for them to accelerate the learning process.”
Floor 2 features the advanced clinical simulation center with high fidelity human patient simulators in simulated hospital settings. This floor can be turned into a virtual delivery unit, intensive care unit, trauma suite and surgical suite.
Floor 3 is a progressive anatomy and surgical skills center where surgical and procedural skill training is performed. This floor utilizes advanced trainers and enables surgical workshops, alongside a section that specifically works with bodies that were donated for scientific study.
“In the Virtual Hospital, you can practice taking care of patients in the simulation spaces, including the transition of care from one level of care to another,” Boyers says. “For example, from the home, to the ED, to the hospital, to the ICU and back home again. Practicing the safe transition of patient care from one team to the next is very important.” Boyers says before the 65,000 square foot simulation center was built, the university built a 12,000 square foot prototype. She says the prototype was a test to see if the simulation center concept would be adopted by students, faculty and the curriculum.