For 30 local teens, an evening at the Women’s Guild Simulation Center for Advanced Clinical Skills at Cedars-Sinai was both fun-filled and educational.
The local high schoolers, all part of the Los Angeles Clippers Mentorship Assist Zone, were able to try their hands at the newest robotic surgical equipment, under the guidance of Kulmeet Sandhu, MD. In the fully equipped replica operating room, the students looked into the abdomen of the lifelike mannequin on the operating table as Sandhu explained the procedure for removing a gall bladder. Then they learned how to suture. In another room, students learned the proper procedures for administering CPR and taking a pulse. Later, they practiced on virtual reality tools and learned about procedures for opening airways.
Tenth grader Donne Ward attends Mira Costa High School and says he’s hoping for a career in medicine. “I like learning about new things and I’m interested in the medical field,” Ward said. “I want to learn neurology.”
The Women’s Guild Simulation Center allows healthcare workers to practice procedures and skills in rooms that are hospital replicas. Some 15,000 to 20,000 healthcare professionals take Simulation Center classes each year. Several times a year, there are special programs for students. Sandhu says she wished a program like this was available when she was a high schooler.
“I think this program is great,” said Sandhu, “because part of the way that people become interested in something is knowing about it. And if you've never been exposed to it, it's very hard to know what's available out there.”
The program, said Sandhu, “exposes students to many healthcare opportunities—not just doctors, but nurses, physician’s assistants, and all sorts of people who work in the hospital.”
For the students, the event, which took place late last week, had an added fun factor when Clippers center Ivica Zubac joined them in the Simulation Center. He gamely tried his hand at suturing and learning CPR and later posed for pictures with the teens.
The new experience was an eye-opener for ninth grader Briah Johnson.
“This is awesome,” said Johnson. “This just kind of confirmed my passion, that I want to be in the medical field. And it's awesome to have the access to these types of resources.”
The Simulation Center is marking its 10th anniversary this year.
“Having the chance to offer this training to young people inspires them to consider careers within the health sector,” said Russell Metcalfe Smith, executive director, Simulation and Interprofessional Education. “I hope these experiences will motivate and encourage them to believe they can achieve their goals.”
Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Cedars-Sinai's Team Leads the Next Generation of Thoracic Robotic Surgeons Into the Future of Medicine