June 19, 2009

CELA earns national endorsement in Anesthesiology education

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Simulation engineer Andrew Cross controls a mannequin’s responses to the care provided by students during a Fundamentals of Critical Care Skills course held at the Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment. (photo by Anne Rayner)

CELA earns national endorsement in Anesthesiology education

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment (CELA) has been endorsed by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) for the delivery of educational offerings to anesthesiologists.

Anesthesiologists from Vanderbilt and the surrounding community will be able to come to CELA for Continuing Medical Education (CME) simulation training that qualifies for American Board of Anesthesiology Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology (MOCA) credit.

To achieve the ASA endorsement, the CELA program met strict criteria, including having well-documented educational offerings and curriculum, established instructor competency, strong program leadership, the ability to offer CME credit, the ability to assess course effectiveness and the necessary equipment, facilities, personnel to provide sophisticated training.

CELA is an 11,000-square-foot facility encompassing the third and fourth floors of Medical Research Building IV. The $6 million training facility opened in 2007 and is home to both the Program in Human Simulation and the Simulation Technologies Program. The center offers a wide range of simulation technologies, including computerized mannequins that can reproduce routine and critical clinical situations.

One floor includes 12 clinic exam rooms and the other is flexible space that triples as a six-bed ED, a four-bed ICU or a couple of operating rooms — all fully monitored by computer-controlled audio/video equipment. Current anesthesiology-related courses offered at CELA include pediatric and adult airway management workshops and the Fundamentals of Critical Care Support.

“Vanderbilt’s Simulation Center is unique in that we routinely and seamlessly integrate mannequin-based simulators with standardized patients and clinicians to deliver the most impactful educational experiences,” said John Shatzer Jr., Ph.D., CELA’s director. “Standardized patients/clinicians are carefully trained employees who can reliably and accurately portray a specific role in a simulation experience.”

“This is a significant milestone for CELA and confirms the vision of those at the Medical Center who supported the development of this state-of-the-art training facility,” said Matthew Weinger, M.D., an anesthesiologist and director of the Simulation Technologies Program at CELA.

“This endorsement by ASA verifies the excellence of the instruction provided through CELA, as well as the overall strength of our program. Our central location and reputation will draw medical professionals from across the Mid South and beyond who seek quality training in anesthesiology and related topics.”

In recent years, medical simulation has become an important tool for training and educating physicians and promoting patient safety, and anesthesiologists have been at the forefront of efforts to bring the benefits of medical simulation to physicians and patients.

The ASA is an education and professional association of approximately 43,000 physician members. Its purpose is to raise standards of medical practice by fostering and encouraging education, research and scientific progress in the specialty and to improve patient care.