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| NMCSD Debuts Bioskills Training Center
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jessica Tounzen Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs


SAN DIEGO - Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) unveiled a major upgrade to one of its training facilities during a grand opening ceremony April 23.


The hospital's 450-square-foot Surgical Training Lab had been in use since 1998. Over the years, the space became inadequate due to increased use by the hospital's residency programs, staff and pre-deployment training programs, and it was determined that more room was needed.


Now boasting 2,100 square feet of useable space, the Surgical Training Lab is now the new Bioskills Training Center (BTC). The new $5 million facility can accommodate up to 40 medical personnel and 10-12 supplementary personnel at eight full cadaver stations or 16 partial specimen stations.


The mission of the BTC is to support NMCSD's mission of operational readiness, patient care, and staff and resident medical education. BTC provides courses to teach advanced surgical skills, enhance and hone existing skills, provide opportunities for patient-specific procedure development, and provides a venue for introduction of new technology, new procedures, and innovative development by Navy researchers.


In 2007, Rebecca Eveland, head, surgical training laboratories and BTC facility, along with her NMCSD colleagues began brainstorming ideas for a new training space. A grant was received and serious planning efforts commenced in 2009.


"That was when we requisitioned several spaces adjacent to the Surgical Training Lab: a storeroom, a room with two freezers, Pathology's HIV lab, and a small NCIS office. It's an expansion and complete renovation of the original Surgical Training Lab," said Eveland.


Setting the BTC apart from other training facilities is the fact that it is qualified as both 'macro' and 'micro'- meaning it can accommodate both larger and smaller specimens and is well-suited for nearly any type of surgical training- the only such training facility of its kind throughout the Department of Defense.


Within the BTC are 12 large flat-screen televisions as well as five cameras, four wall-mounted and one housed in the surgical lamp above the instructor's table. The facility's previously cramped 450-square-foot space meant residents had to crowd around one table to view a procedure. Now, participants are able to simply glance up at a monitor to observe.


The BTC's two civilian staff members along with NMCSD Simulation Center staff will offer training courses such as advanced anatomy and dissection, individual study and practice, deployment preparation, surgical skills enhancement, and research. The BTC not only accommodates NMCSD staff but medical personnel from throughout the Department of the Navy.


In fiscal year 2011, the Surgical Training Lab educated 2,197 physicians during 279 events, totaling 7,510 man-hours of training. The new BTC will greatly increase the amount, and quality, of training, research, and support to Navy Medicine.


The BTC is located in Building 1 at NMCSD, in the Clinical Investigation Department, and is open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (6 p.m. for staff and resident surgeons), and on weekends by special arrangement only.


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