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Saturday, May 18, 2024

State of the art medical training

by Joanna Andrews

© Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Medical Simulation Centre

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) recently announced the opening of the ‘Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Medical Simulation Centre’. Joanna Andrews went to the state-of-the- art medical training facility to find out more.

The UAE’s healthcare system may be young, but it has big ambitions and is developing at lightening pace. Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) was launched in 2002 to meet the demand for high-quality healthcare in the region. Today, it is home to over 3,700 licensed healthcare professionals and over 120 international acclaimed medical centres.

As I drive to the newly built Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre (MBR-AMC) – an education and research arm of Dubai Healthcare City – I can’t help but notice the multiple more buildings under construction.

The Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Simulation Centre (KHMSC) is a stateof- the-art medical simulation training centre and the first comprehensive training facility of its kind in the region. The Centre was named after its benefactor, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, the Chairman of Al Habtoor Group – a well-known philanthropist with a strong belief in education and medical research. “We are immensely grateful to Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor for his patronage and generosity in developing the Medical Simulation Centre,” says Marwan Abedin, CEO, DHCC. “We are very proud to be able to offer such advanced training facilities to healthcare professionals in the UAE.”

The KHMSC is one of the key projects within the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre portfolio and shares the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, for academic excellence in healthcare training.

“It is a 30,000 square feet setup,” says Dr Amer Ahmad Sharif, Managing Director at Dubai Healthcare City – Education. “We have six interactive human patient simulators ranging from an adult simulator, to a paediatric simulator and a maternity simulator.”

The Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Simulation Centre can create real life medical emergency scenarios without risking patient safety. It features groundbreaking technology and provides training for healthcare professionals in a simulated environment.

The simulators are life-sized interactive mannequins that can react in the way a human patient would. “We can show physiological changes in the body,” says Dr Sharif. They have a heartbeat and pupils that react to light. They can blink, suffocate, choke and show symptoms of chest pain depending on the scenario programmed by the technician.”

The Centre offers a unique opportunity to practice clinical skills, hands-on, from basic to very complex procedures and encourage critical thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration among medical teams.

Dr Sharif says, “The simulators provide both experienced clinicians and students the opportunity to learn, rehearse and perfect procedures, in a risk-free environment.”

KHMSC consists of two high-fidelity operating rooms, featuring functioning adult and pediatric intensive care and operating room equipment as well as an Intensive Care Unit/Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, patient care rooms, a ward environment and a maternity room.

It also has a pre-hospital training facility for simulated trauma, such as car crashes, which will feature ambulance and helicopter environments.

“All the equipment and machines here are what you would expect to see in an actual hospital. It is like a virtual hospital,” says Dr Sharif.

Phase two of the Centre will be a fully-equipped emergency department, which will open in the third quarter of 2013. “We will be able to simulate an emergency. Paramedics will bring the virtual patients in the ambulance. Once they reach the emergency department, the emergency team, doctors and nurses will receive the patients and triage them as a critical case or non-critical case. They will then come to the virtual simulation centre where he or she will be taken to ICU or the ward.”

The Centre currently offers a wide range of courses for medical students to advanced specialists.

The courses available include:-

  • Chest Pain Management
  • Respiratory Problems Management
  • Diabetic Emergencies Management
  • Management of the Shocked Patient
  • Cardiac Chest Pain Management
  • Medical Emergencies in the Ward Environment
  • Management of the Polytrauma Patient
  • ECG Recognition and Management

As of May 2013, the Centre has run more than 40 courses welcoming more than 200 healthcare professionals. Dubai Healthcare City’s CEO says DHCC wants to further develop its education offering and positioning itself as an internationally recognised medical education hub, “We aim to create a sustainable quality healthcare workforce, allowing UAE residents to be best treated closer to home”.

The Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Medical Simulation Centre offers something unique to Dubai; just like pilots who train in flight simulators to ensure they are fit and safe for our skies. It offers reassurance that the healthcare professionals that walk through its doors are capable of handing any given medical emergency. These computer-based mannequins provide the basis they need to practise and perfect life saving skills.

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