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Health Journalism 2017: Field trips

Sign up for Thursday field trips
This link will become active today at noon CT.For AHCJ members only

To be eligible to sign up for a field trip, you must be a journalist and you must have registered for the conference no later than noon CT on March 8. Field trip sign-ups will open at noon CT on March 9 and there are a limited number of seats available.

We will contact you after you request a field trip spot to let you know if you have secured a seat.

There are two options for field trips this year, featuring the following:

Field trip 1
 

Anatomy Lab as forensic science


In the Anatomy Lab, a virtual cadaver table is available for 3-dimensional viewing of both anatomy/CT imaging of normal anatomy and hundreds of examples of pathology, embryologic and surgical anatomy/imaging. (Credit: University of Central Florida School of Medicine)

At the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, Anatomy Lab isn’t about memorizing body parts. It’s about using the latest technology to learn about the human body, disease and its impact upon the patient.

Anatomy is taught in a high-tech 8,100-square-foot lab with 22 dissection tables. Ceiling-mounted computer terminals above the dissection tables allow for easy access to a digital dissections manual and internet access to educational resources during dissection. A virtual cadaver table is available for three-dimensional viewing of both anatomy/CT imaging of normal anatomy and hundreds of examples of pathology, embryologic and surgical anatomy/imaging. Ninety-inch computer monitors allow student groups and students and faculty to discuss normal and abnormal anatomy and medical imaging.

Unlike many medical schools, UCF students in Anatomy Lab don’t know the cause of death of their cadaver – called their first patient. Instead, they spend the 17 weeks of lab doing a forensic investigation to try to find out how disease impacted their patient’s life and caused their death. The goal is to teach young medical students the clinical impacts of disease early in their careers and develop a spirit of inquiry.

Clinical skills and simulation center – hands-on training in patient care

The college’s 7,500-square-foot state-of-the-art Clinical Skills and Simulation Center provides a variety of clinical settings for students to gain hands-on experience to learn and practice essential skills from the first weeks of medical school.


The Clinical Skills and Simulation Center serves an average of 300 medical students a week through the academic year and is designed to provide a safe learning environment for young students to develop their clinical skills before ever caring for patients. (Credit: University of Central Florida School of Medicine)

The center has 16 exam rooms set up with the medical equipment you would find in any doctor’s office. All rooms are video compatible and have an instructor’s one-way glass viewing station. It is equipped with training simulators and medical mannequins that are used to teach clinical assessment and intervention skills, such as heart, lung, and bowel sounds, venipuncture and catheterization. The center employs more than 100 standardized patients, actors trained to play the part of sick or injured patients. 

The Clinical Skills and Simulation Center serves an average of three hundred medical students a week through the academic year and is designed to provide a safe learning environment for young students to develop their clinical skills before ever caring for patients in clinics and hospitals.

Microscopy Lab – cells up close and personal for all to see


The Microscopy Laboratory supports traditional histology and pathology slide study with a 10-headed microscope equipped with digital image capturing and multiple video monitors. (credit: University of Central Florida School of Medicine)

The days of studying cells with a hand-held microscope are long gone at the UCF College of Medicine. The Microscopy Lab is the lab of the future. It uses virtual digitized slides – so that every student can explore the secrets of the cell and its pathology and are able to compare normal to abnormal tissues.

Digital slides allow students to learn from the same material and give them experience with cells of unique or rare diseases. The laboratory also supports traditional histology and pathology slide study with a 10-headed microscope equipped with digital image capturing and multiple video monitors.

The Microscopy Lab is one of several learning centers at the College of Medicine specifically designed for team-based learning. It is also used during Anatomy Lab, when students and faculty may take biopsies and other cell samples to diagnose potential causes of death in their first patients.

Twin robotics X-ray suite

In December, Nemours Children’s Hospital unveiled a new, twin-robotic X-ray suite, the first of its kind in a children's hospital in the country.

In a traditional X-ray suite, it can be tough to get a child to hold still for imaging. In this new suite, robotic arms will move around the child, so that the child doesn't have to move. And if the child does move, the robotic arms will follow the movement.


In a traditional X-ray suite, it can be tough to get a child to hold still for imaging. In the new twin-robotic X-ray suit, robotic arms will move around the child. (Credit: Nemours Children’s Hospital)

It's also diagnostic imaging's version of the Swiss Army knife. The technology allows for a multitude of diagnostic examinations to be performed in just one room, on just one system, including fluoroscopy, radiography, angiography and tomography.

Reporters will see the robot in use and see how it compares to the traditional X-ray.

Magnetic resonance elastography – a new diagnosis tool

Children may be able to avoid liver biopsies, and its inherent risks, thanks to a new imaging technique available at Nemours Children’s Hospital. Magnetic resonance elastography allows earlier, safer and more precise diagnosis and monitoring for children with chronic liver disease.

The technology uses low-frequency sound waves in combination with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure liver stiffness in a non-invasive, ionizing radiation-free and painless way. Learn from Nemours’ radiologist-in-chief, a world-renowned expert, using one of the few MR Elastography suites in the country.

The majority of cases of chronic liver disease in children occur when the body deposits fat in the liver, which can cause it to become inflamed.  Untreated, this inflammation can lead to hepatic fibrosis or even cirrhosis. Children with fibrosis and cirrhosis are at increased risk of developing liver cancer. Childhood obesity is a leading cause of chronic liver disease, but there are many other etiologies such as cystic fibrosis, heart disease, and infections such as hepatitis.

High-tech patient monitoring in Clinical Logistics Center


The Nemours Children’s Hospital Clinical Logistics Center is a high-tech hub where paramedics tracks vital signs of patients 24 hours a day, acting as eyes and ears even when a nurse is away from bedside. (Credit: Nemours Children’s Hospital)

The Nemours Children’s Hospital Clinical Logistics Center is a high-tech hub where paramedics track vital signs of patients 24 hours a day, acting as eyes and ears even when a nurse is away from bedside. This team monitors patients at Nemours’ hospital in Orlando and in Wilmington, Del.

If the medical professional detects signs of distress, he or she has the ability to make instant audio contact with the child and family in the room and may also use a high-definition camera installed in each patient room to get a visual of the child.

The logistics center also integrates data from Nemours Electronic Health Record such as a patient’s recent lab work, medical history and specialty clinic reports. That data helps determine which patients need the most-significant level of monitoring. Center staffers can demonstrate of how it is used during a code.

Training providers and parents with health care simulation

Reporters will have a chance to go through training using a high–fidelity simulation model, which are used to train every care provider at Nemours Children’s Hospital.

The hospital uses models that can have difficulty breathing, have a seizure, even turn blue. Providers can practice inserting an IV, intubation and place a chest tube. The model can move their eyes, cry, have a pulse, talk and respond and change their condition based on what is done them. Nemours creates its own simulated skin which is used to help our paramedics train to suture wounds.

The simulation center trains medics and school nurses; families are taught how to use medical equipment, alleviating parents’ anxiety of taking care of a child at home.

Field trip 2A and Field trip 2B

In this field trip, attendees need to pick either Trip A or Trip B for the first stop. Then, all will gather before heading to the SimLEARN stop at the VA location and experience the rest of the field trip together.

Translational Research Institute – a look at metabolism (Field trip 2A)

Florida Hospital’s Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes is doing pioneering work to understand obesity, diabetes, and the metabolic origins of cardiovascular disease. This research is a key component of Florida Hospital’s focus on preventive and population health. During your visit to TRI, key opinion leaders will discuss the latest advancements in our understanding of America’s obesity and diabetes epidemics and the innovative methods the institute uses to conduct research studies.

Participants in this trip may also have the opportunity to choose to experience some of the research methodologies used to understand metabolism. These experiences may include:

  • Tasting food used in TRI research studies and taking a Visual Analog Scale test to determine hunger and fullness.
  • Having your metabolism measured briefly in a flex room calorimeter — specially designed room where we measure how your body burns calories.
  • Undergoing testing to determine body composition or liver-fat levels.
  • Checking two key labs that are used in diagnosing diabetes: glucose and hemoglobin A1C

TRI is an active research site and access to these experiences will vary depending on whether they are being used for current research studies. After you experience research at TRI, you will have the chance to share your experiences with your colleagues and to participate in an “Ask the Scientist” session with key opinion leaders.

Training like a surgeon (Field trip 2B)

Do you have what it takes to be a surgeon — or at least train like one? At the Nicholson Center for Surgical Advancement, Florida Hospital trains surgeons from around the globe on the latest equipment and techniques in a realistic training environment. Participants will have the opportunity to scrub in and try their hand at laparoscopic and robotic-assisted training technology.


Nicholson Center for Surgical Advancement offers training with the latest laparoscopic and robotic-assisted technology. (Credit: Florida Health Orlando)

In the Institute for Surgical Advancement Prototype Lab, you’ll see ground-breaking training equipment, and learn how 3D printing technology is driving advancements in the creation and improvement of surgical devices and changing the future of health care.

SimLEARN – latest medical simulation technology (Field trips 2A and 2B)

The VA’s National Simulation Center, or SimLEARN, is located on the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona and provides malleable training opportunities for VA employees and partner organizations. SimLEARN utilizes the latest in medical simulation technologies to increase the incidence of medical procedures training while focusing on realism and applicability to the learning organization.


The Simulation Learning, Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) is the Veterans Health Administration’s program for simulation in health care training. (Credit: VHA SimLEARN)

Full-scale, state-of-the art operating and procedural rooms are integrated with actors who are health care professionals skilled at emulating medical emergency conditions and causalities to provide students with realistic, real time training.

State-of-the-art VA urgent care/emergency room (Field trips 2A and 2B)

A first among veterans in central Florida, the Lake Nona Urgent Care/Emergency Room provides 24/7 medical support to more than 110,000 enrolled veterans. A 24-bay, centrally managed, state-of-the art facility has become one of the most active aspects of veteran-specific care at Lake Nona.

When integrated with a 134-bed inpatient facility the UC/ER is a valued resource in providing patient care and support, and stands ready to support natural and man-made disasters in its federal special events recovery role.

Lake Nona VA campus tour (Field trips 2A and 2B)

The tour of this medical monument to veterans offers selected areas of patient care and employee safety that utilize advanced technologies in better serving our veteran population.

Areas such as radiology, pathology and lab, audiology/speech pathology, ophthalmology and occupational health will be included in this brisk 30-minute walking tour.

Wear your best walking shoes and embark on viewing unique facilities in the VA’s 155 medical center inventory.