UTHSC set to open new $39M training facility

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - University of Tennessee Health Science Center is set to open its new $39.7 million center for healthcare improvement and patient simulation.

The 45,000-square foot building on South Dunlap Street--known as the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation, or CHIP--will not open until May 11, but WMC Action News 5 got an early look at the three-story facility.

The center, which has been under construction since 2015, will let students at UTHSC train together using high-tech mannequins, standardized patients, and other simulations to train under the safest conditions available.

"The work here is all about having residents and students learn and practice and demonstrate competency here before they actually go to the clinical setting and deal with patients," Executive Director of Health Simulation Dr. Chad Epps said.

It takes the term "learning by doing" to a whole new level.

Students are put in real-life high-pressure situations. The mannequins--or patients--actually blink and talk.

The skills lab and clinical exam rooms make it possible for students to practice giving birth and even give colonoscopies

"This particular trainer is expensive technology and so being able to have it readily available is very nice," UTHSC general surgery resident Patrick Shahan said.

After performing several real-life colonoscopies, Shahan said it doesn't get more real than this.

"I think as far as a simulation goes, this is actually pretty good," he said.

"My hope is that they enter the healthcare force really with more confidence and better prepared to take care of their patients," Epps said.

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