An important element of the curriculum is the availability of dedicated stations that provide numerous methodologies and resources for skills training. This multi dimensional approach to training allows individuals to choose the methods best suited to their personal learning styles. Compared to previous methods of live surgery training, this low-stress approach is more cost efficient and provides a comfortable learning environment. Training stations simulate the position of the human torso and placement and use of surgical instruments. These stations will increase the residents’ proficiency with specialized instruments and prepare them for the operating room. Practice at the skills stations also familiarizes residents with the difficulties of interpreting three-dimensional visual cues from a two-dimensional display.
Commercially and locally produced videotapes of laparoscopic procedures are available for training.
CD Materials and Web Resources
Reviewed and approved Web sites from other institutions are accessible from workstations and laptops. A library of Web-based and interactive CD training modules also is available.
Virtual Reality Tools for Training
One of the groundbreaking projects the Center is developing currently is the inclusion of virtual reality technology in the training curriculum for residents. The ImmersaDesk incorporates three-dimensional techniques and high –powered video projection system to add realism to simulated environments. The users wear comfortable, lightweight goggles and experience the sensation of being part of the computer-generated world. Researchers at the Center currently are developing operating room scenarios and training exercises that will be added to the existing curriculum.
The value of the three-dimensional world is enhanced greatly if one can sense contact with objects encountered and optimally differentiate consistencies and surfaces. Researchers at the Center have incorporated computer programs and equipment, which together constitute a haptic feedback system, to develop a virtual touch training station.