Valdosta Cardiologists Welcome Mobile Training Unit

The heartbeat of a patient with coronary heart disease having a lifesaving pacemaker implanted can be heard in the operating room, but this patient is nothing more than a mannequin.

"It's amazing, realistic. The visual feedback is just like doing that part of the procedure in the cath lab,” Trey Powell, Cardiologist explains.

That's because Medtronic has put a catheterization lab on wheels and is using virtual reality simulations to teach doctors the latest cardiac procedures.

"The physicians are so busy that it's so hard to get them away from their patients and practice to bring them to Atlanta or Minneapolis for training. Now we can bring the training to them and set up a time schedule around their schedule and it makes this much more effective,” explains Jody Platt, the Mobile Center spokesperson.

Doctors say the patient's well-being was a big concern in the older training methods, but because the mobile lab utilizes "dummy" patients, doctors say they are able to perfect their skills without any distractions.

"Being able to do it over and over again several times in a short period of time is much more effective training then doing a procedure once and waiting a month before you do it again,” adds Powell.

Doctors at Dasher Heart Center say this is just the beginning for simulation training in many more fields of medicine.

The Medtronic Mobile Center has successfully trained more than 30 doctors in both Florida and south Georgia.