November 20, 2006

Contact: Luke Frank, Senior Public Affairs Representative, 505/272-3679; cell 505/907-9525

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALBUQUERQUE , NM UNM Health Sciences Center's Medical Simulation Program has been named a Level I Accredited Education Instituteby the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The program, run through the B.A.T.C.A.V.E. (Basic Advanced Trauma Computer Assisted Virtual Experience), is one of only seven inaugural institutions in North America awarded this certification.

Medical education facilities honored by the ACS Level I designation are designed to specifically address the teaching, learning and assessment of technical skills using state-of-the-art educational methods and cutting-edge technology. The ACS review described UNM's B.A.T.C.A.V.E. as an outstanding educational institution providing quality education and services.

The B.A.T.C.A.V.E. provides simulation-based skills training for health care students and practitioners in all medical and surgical disciplines. Opened in 2001, the B.A.T.C.A.V.E. is a joint venture between the University of New Mexico Hospitals and the UNM School of Medicine, with a stated mission to use simulation practice, education, and research to provide the highest level of safe and effective health care to the people of New Mexico.

A pioneer in the growing trend to create comprehensive simulation training centers, the B.A.T.C.A.V.E. enables students to rehearse with a patient substitute, so skills are well-practiced before being applied to people. Interactive mannequins are programmed to develop difficulties like breathing or heart problems, then clinical teams diagnose the illness, make treatment decisions, and perform the tests and procedures necessary to return the "patient" to health. Instructors' observations, videotaped replays, and information collected through computer sensors in the mannequin enable students in several disciplines and at all levels of expertise to obtain detailed feedback.

Facts about the B.A.T.C.A.V.E. Medical Simulation Program:

o The facility consists of five classrooms and five simulation rooms

o The program maintains and operates more than 400 passive mannequins, three high-fidelity mannequins, three mid-fidelity mannequins, and four state-of-the-art surgical skills trainers.

o Last year, more than 5,539 students participated in B.A.T.C.A.V.E. courses for a total of 26,066 training hours.

o The learning resources are used to capacity 40 hours per week, and medical conferences are accommodated on weekends.

o The scope is multidisciplinary and inclusive of students at all levels of experience.

o Users include those practicing medicine, nursing, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, and physical therapy, and physician assistants, paramedics, radiology techs, and phlebotomists.

o The levels of experience range from undergraduate students to established practitioners who recognize the benefits the realistic practice experiences the B.A.T.C.A.V.E. can provide.

o Simulation experiences range from basic skills-learning and practice, such as taking a blood pressure or providing tracheotomy care, to the extremely complex skill-building experiences needed by operating room, intensive care unit, or emergency room teams.