Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation & Education Skills Laboratory
Houston Methodist Hospital is committed to helping it residents and fellows achieve excellence in procedural skills. As a result, it has developed the Inanimate Skills Lab (ISL), a subsection of the Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Education (MITIE).
The ISL houses a comprehensive inanimate training facility for teaching both open and laparoscopic surgical skills, flexible endoscopy, and critical care procedures such as airway management, central line placement, and invasive cardiac monitoring. Housed on the fourth floor of the Fondren wing of the hospital, the Inanimate Skills Lab is centrally located for easy access. Residents and fellows are given 24 hour access so that each can work at their own pace and on their own schedule.
The Department of Surgery has developed a comprehensive surgical skills training curriculum for both open and laparoscopic surgery. The program includes both didactic and hands-on simulation training and the progress of each resident and fellow is tracked as they progress through the curriculum.
Procedures start with basic skills such as palming a needle driver and laparoscopic camera navigation, and progress to advanced skills such as laparoscopic intracorporeal suturing and creation of vascular and intestinal anastomosis. A full time surgical educator staffs the ISL as a valuable resource for training and to ensure that trainees are progressing though the curriculum successfully.
When the trainee has made adequate progress in the Inanimate Skills Lab, he or she will then graduate to performing surgical procedures in an animate lab. Basic surgical skills will be taught such as establishing pneumoperitoneum, proper port placement, and two handed use of instruments. This will progress to performing surgical procedures such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy, splenectomy, nephrectomy, Nissen fundoplication, ventral hernia repair, and gastric bypass.
Junior level residents will perform the procedures with an expert assistant. Senior level residents will get experience in managing the operating room team including directing the assistant and working with a scrub nurse and circulating nurse.