Department of Anaesthetics Opens Smart Centre
2010/11/21 08:19:00 AM
Mrs Fikisiwe Zondi and Professor Tahir Pillay officially open the Anaesthetics Smart Centre.
The Department of Anaesthetics in partnership with Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH) has officially opened its Anaesthetics Smart Centre - the first of its kind in Africa - which is valued at R4.5 million.
The centre is the brainchild of Department of Anaesthetics’ Head, Dr Dean Gopalan and Mr Naren Bhimsan who is the current manager of the University’s Simulated Modules in Anaesthetics, Resuscitation Training (what defines the ‘Smart’ in Smart Centre). The centre was established to provide clinical skills training to medical and health professionals as well as registrars, and contains high-technology equipment to enhance this.
“UKZN’s Smart Centre … Africa’s First Smart Centre, is an exceptional advancement in ensuring that our teaching practices at UKZN are globally integrated,” said Professor Tahir Pillay, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences.
Denoting the significance of the work to be done at the centre is Stan, a R1.8m sophisticated human patient simulator named as an acronym for Standard Man. Stan, who can quickly be transformed to Stanette (a female version), is made of plastic, metal wire and circuit board. He spends his days at IALCH succumbing to all manner of medical trauma such as heart attacks, asthma attacks, blocked airways, and collapsed lungs amongst others.
Human patient simulators represent the latest in state-of-the-art simulation technology to train medical personnel at all levels of medical education without risk to patients, to cut mistakes by professions and, when errors happen, to find out why.
The Smart Centre was running for a while before the official opening and UKZN, IALCH and the province’s Department of Health (DoH) report that it is running in an efficient manner. “It allows you to do very complex and simple procedures,” said Dr Gopalan.
“Aestheticians should have a good understanding when dealing with patients on what could go wrong,” said Dr Gopalan. “The joy of the Centre is that it can channel a broad spectrum of people to anaesthetics,” he added. University students, interns and even high school students have visited and been trained at the Smart Centre.
Delivering an address on behalf of the hospital, the Chief Executive Officer of IALCH, Mrs Fikisiwe Zondi’s speech was titled Yesterday, today, tomorrow and the future. She journeyed back on the concept and establishment of the Anaesthetics Smart Centre.
Recollecting on her early days as a junior nurse, Mrs Zondi said that as juniors they used to admire senior nurses trying to do the best they could at all times. This soon taught them that anaesthetics is a very stressful profession but they persevered.
She also spoke about the shortage of well-trained staff in the profession and said that newer strategies need to be looked into to better the situation. “The Smart Centre added value to a state-of-the-art institution that already existed, the IALCH... The one concept we are all working for is quality patient care; we are doing it for the patient,” she said.
The centre can be accessed through the website: http://smart.ukzn.ac.za
Head of Anaesthetics, Dr Dean Gopalan describes how Stan assists with teaching of health professionals.
DVC of the College performs intubation on Stan