The Clinical Skills Center (CSC) at Howard University College of Medicine is a state of the art educational facility that provides the ideal environment to teach fundamental and advanced clinical/technical skills and procedures. Some of the clinical skills include history-taking, physical examination, communication and interpersonal skills, professionalism, etc. The CSC staff supports curricular goals by providing a simulated environment where healthcare professionals learn and hone their skills prior to performing procedures on a patient. The CSC provides support to the Health Sciences Schools which includes the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, Pharmacy, and Allied Health, and College of Dentistry. The CSC also provides services to Graduate Medical Education residency programs.
The mission of the CSC is to provide a simulated environment where medical students, post-graduate physicians, practicing physicians, nursing students and other health care professionals learn and hone their clinical/technical skills prior to performing procedures on a patient. The ultimate goal is to promote patient safety through education.
The CSC is approximately 5,000 sq feet. It includes 10 examination rooms, an observation room, master control room, conference room, and break area. The examination rooms are used to simulated patient encounters for teaching, practice, and assessment of clinical skills such as history taking, physical examination, communication, professionalism, etc. Standardized Patients (SPs) are used as professional patients for these encounters. SPs are lay persons from the community coached to portray a patient with a medical illness. The observation room is designed for faculty to observe learners in real time. They can provide learners with onsite immediate feedback.
Moreover, the technology within the CSC is a web-based digital solution which allows faculty to capture, debriefing and assessment of these encounters. The video allows the faculty to assess the learners and provide feedback but most importantly it allows learners the opportunity to self-assess their skills. The master control room is the central location for managing the technology.