New simulation center at UNMC provides hands-on learning for students

Graduate student Chris Thompson works with one of the interactive walls at UNMC's new simulation center

New technology aimed at helping future doctors is now at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

It’s technology that doctors say could drive down health care costs and prevent medical errors from happening.

Graduate student Chris Thompson said, "The complication of cancer is what I really want to work in."

Thompson lost his aunt three years ago to breast cancer.

"It's kind of pushed me to try and be there on the cutting edge and forefront of finding out why the disease keeps going."

Now, Thompson is hopeful that a new simulation center at UNMC will help him with this when he becomes a doctor.

Thompson said, "With this we can actually see what we're expecting when we treat patients."

It's called the iEXCEL program. It includes several patient simulators that are similar to robots.

Associate Vice Chancellor Pamela Boyers says these simulators "can respond and be programmed to have any kind of illness or any kind of experience that a patient may have."

The advantage is that students are able to see and learn a lot more than they would by just reading a textbook.

Medical student Cindy Chou said, "I think, in terms of psychiatry, the biggest thing is maybe simulated conversations, being able to explore different ways to talk to the patient and how to approach them...this is going to be so much more active learning."

Part of the simulation center is on display at UNMC and students can use it.

The center officially opens in the fall of 2018 in the new Davis Global Center.

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