JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The University of Mississippi Medical Center’s (UMMC) simulation center allows training for high schoolers, students in the medical and dental fields and doctors to safely practice different scenarios in a monitored setting in order to be well prepared for real-life emergencies.

Instructors credit UMMC’s simulation center complete with virtual reality training to be helpful during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students learn how to assess heart sounds, draw blood, inject medications and more in the simulation center.

Dr. Justin Ling-Leblanc is a third-year radiology resident at UMMC.

The state-of-the-art training uses plastic patients.

“If this were a real patient, they’d be sedated,” said Ling-Leblanc.

Dr. Garth Campbell is an associate professor of radiology at UMMC.

“They could do their first procedure on a simulation or mannequin before they do it on a patient,” he said.

UMMC remains the only Level 1 trauma center in the Magnolia State.

Managing Director Anna Lerant says UMMC’s simulation center helps build a bridge between classroom learning and the clinical practice.

“When I leave here, it will be really hard for me to see something that I haven’t seen before in my training,” said fourth-year radiology resident Dr. Matthew Martin.

For Patrick Parker, the simulation center coordinator, he’s come full circle. His interest in radiology piqued when he went on a tour through the center back when he was a firefighter paramedic in Flowood.

“In an academic medical center, simulation is almost like health insurance for patients because it allows our learners to get the brunt of the learning in the simulation center and not at the bedside,” said Lerant.

For those like Martin, he said he plans to take what he learned from UMMC’s simulation center and stay in Mississippi to improve care.