BLACKSBURG, Va. – Imagine a life or death situation, without the life or death stakes.
On Wednesday, emergency medicine residents from LewisGale Medical Center got hands-on experience in four simulated scenarios: a gunshot wound, a burn victim, a car crash and a traumatic chest injury.
For the first time ever, a dozen resident doctors headed to the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Blacksburg to treat trauma patients using the school’s latest technology, mannequins and actors.
“As real as they can make it. Even the mannequins have pulses and breath sounds,” said resident Dr. Kendal McCarty. “[It] allows us to get more comfortable with these scenarios without having real patients at risk.”
The residents then received immediate feedback from instructors, who watched the simulations from a control room.
“I’m really excited to see how they perform after this experience in real life,” said Dr. Eliza Jacob, a faculty emergency medicine physician at LewisGale Medical Center.
LewisGale officials said they’re excited to have these residents get hands-on training in trauma simulations, so they can take what they learn to the Blue Hills Emergency Room set to open next month.
“They will be even better prepared than they are now to provide efficient and effective care,” said Dr. John Lucas, the senior vice president for institutional advancement and administration at VCOM.
Although LewisGale’s Emergency Medicine Residency Program is in its infancy—launching in 2020—resident Dr. Beverly Nyokabi said she’s been able to help shape the program and be a part of the pipeline of future doctors.
“Not only do we need doctors, but we need doctors that look like their patients,” said Nyokabi. “We need to increase the diversity of doctors in this country.”