Surgical Skills Simulation & Education Center

surgical skills simulation and education center

The center provides the ideal environment to teach and evaluate procedural and technical skills for all disciplines.

The USC Surgical Skills Simulation and Education Center encompasses 3 state-of-the-art educational facilities providing the ideal environment to teach fundamental and advanced technical skills and procedures. Based on the philosophy that skills are better learned when afforded the opportunity for deliberate practice in a controlled environment, our center has become the premier location in Southern California for Surgical Skills Training and Assessment. Over the years the curriculum has grown and our learners span from high school students to practicing physicians. We have extended our curriculum to other Departments and have collaborated with the Graduate Medical Office and LAC+USC Medical Center to establish a standardized resident skills curriculum for the Patient Safety Initiative. In addition to resident training we conduct courses for medical students, fellows, practicing physicians, and other allied health care providers. The center has the facilities and equipment needed to provide a comprehensive approach to surgical education and is comprised of an inanimate laboratory, an animate laboratory and a Fresh Tissue Dissection Laboratory (FTDL).

Inanimate Lab

Our inanimate facility is comprised of a Technical Skills Laboratory, a Simulation Suite and a Virtual OR. The entire facility is supported by a state-of-the-art audio-visual system. Over the years we have acquired equipment and inanimate modules that support our educational programs.

Technical Skills Laboratory

The Technical Skills Laboratory is equipped with eight workstations that are arranged to accommodate up to 30 trainees. Each station is equipped with Storz endoscopic drivers, Ethicon endoscopic instruments, a height adjustable table, and HD monitor. This laboratory also houses two virtual laparoscopic trainers for individual practice and eight duplex laparoscopic trainers for practicing surgical dexterity and training muscle memory.

Simulation Laboratory Suites

The Simulation Laboratory Suite is home to: a laparoscopic simulator, where entire laparoscopic procedures can be performed from trocar placement through cholecystectomy, as well as a critical care simulator that is put into use for training physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and pharmacy students in mock emergency situations. The simulation suite is not only used to teach proper steps of the procedure, but also for interdisciplinary team communication and conflict management.

Virtual OR

The Virual OR houses a a beating heart simulator, where entire open heart procedures from cannulation and initiation of bypass to weaning and decannulation can be performed.
The entire facility is supported by a state-of-the-art audio-visual system designed by Stryker Communications and has teleconferencing capabilities.

Animate Lab

Our animate facility is comprised of an animal lab, a conference room with teleconference capabilities and the Gunther robotic endovascular training suite. The Animal Lab is equipped with five surgery rooms and 12 animal stations and is used primarily to teach and assess advanced open and laparoscopic procedures on the pig model. The Gunther Robotic Endovascular Training Suite houses the Hansen Magellan Robot and is used to teach and assess endovascular skills of fellows and practicing physicians.

Fresh Tissue Dissection Lab

The Fresh Tissue Dissection Lab is located in the morgue of the old LA County facility. It has three dissection rooms with five dissection tables and allows trainees to practice surgical skills and procedures using real tissue. Our novel perfusion model provides unique fidelity needed to simulate the real setting. New to this lab is the Simulated Operating Room Environment (SORE) where technical skills are combined with leadership skills to test the learners while performing common and non-common procedures while in an environment that mimics a typical operating room.