Page Menu
Share this story

High-tech health care training with the emphasis on team

How do you train future doctors and advanced practice nurses to provide great patient care? At UMass Chan Medical School, they do it together.

“There is no ’I’ in team. There’s no ’I’ in health care either,” noted Benjamin Dadagian-Goldman, a second-year medical student at the T.H. Chan School of Medicine. “You may go into see your doctor, but it takes a whole team to care for you. Everyone needs to work together.”

The interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation (iCELS) at UMass Chan provides a futuristic setting for medical and nursing students to learn their trades before they ever see their first real patient. Here, students can perform surgery on an interactive manakin or diagnose a patient actor who is carefully trained to display a particular ailment.  

“We opened in 2013 with an intention to bring together our standardized patient program, the simulation lab and newer technologies like augmented reality,” said Jacob Ward, senior project manager at iCELS. “Having it all under one roof, over two floors, right on campus has helped us train thousands of clinicians from all over the region.” 

Modern technology and carefully crafted scenarios give students a realistic experience, one that aspiring doctors and advanced practice nurses tackle side by side. Trainers at iCELS believe that collaboration is a key part of each lesson. 

“As a society, we train people in silos, then we expect them to work as a team,” explained Anne Weaver, RN, CCRN, CHSE, who is a simulation educator at iCELS. “Learning, by nature, is collaborative. At iCELS, we mimic the real world, giving students the muscle memory and know-how to respond to medical situations instinctively.” 

Cynthia Delmas, a first-year Doctor of Nursing Practice student focused on family medicine in the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing, has already seen how teamwork leads to a better experience for both patients and providers. 

“When providers round on patients you can tell when the team has a good working relationship,” Delmas said. “Training together allows a physician to understand what is in scope for a nurse in terms of that nurse’s experience and the nurse knows what questions to ask the physician.

“I’ve learned that this collaboration is vital. It facilitates better communication, which makes for a more seamless patient experience and improves patient outcomes.”

Learn more about how we are advancing together.