South Carolina Students go Inside the Operating Room

It may not be the surgery observation deck they"ve seen in movies and television shows, but it's the closest South Carolina high school students can get to a total hip replacement without going under the knife themselves. On April 23, students from 15 high schools will have the chance to get a front row seat to surgery filmed in a KershawHealth operating room. The Virtual Surgery Insider (VSI) will take about 500 students in Kershaw, Lee, Lancaster and Richland counties inside the operating room via cameras and the Internet. Each classroom will be wired via a web cam to allow a statewide chat with the orthopedic surgeons Thomas Joseph, MD and James W. Nichols, DO of Camden Bone & Joint and the surgical team that performed the surgery. The VSI project connects education and the health care industry by introducing students to real-world, real time total hip replacement surgery through a live broadcast. "This allows students a better look at what actually takes place in an operating room," said Jimmy Walker, senior vice president of regulatory and workforce at the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA). "It provides students who are interested in a career in medicine an opportunity to see several different career options in action." The project, created by SCHA, connects the operating room at KershawHealth in Camden, SC to students where they will be able to view a total hip replacement while Joseph and Nichols narrate the procedure live from the operating room. The students selected to view the procedure are in health science, sports medicine, and biology classes at each school. South Carolina and the country already face large health workforce shortages, which only get worse as the first wave of Baby Boomers turn 65 putting more pressure on the health care workforce that is too small and unprepared for this aging group of citizens. This combined with implanting health care reform to increase access to care for more citizens. "Students need to know about the types of careers available to them and the education they need to get into a university or technical college training program," said Walker. "The program portrays the whole health services industry – not just doctors – in an exciting way. Students not only learn the details of a total hip replacement, but they get to see the role that everyone in the operating room plays in improving lives." The Virtual Surgery Insider project is a partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education's Office of Career and Technology Education, the South Carolina Hospital Association, and KershawHealth. About the South Carolina Hospital Association Founded in 1921, the South Carolina Hospital Association is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state's hospitals and health care systems. Based in Columbia, SCHA works with its members to improve access, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all South Carolinians. The state's hospitals and health care systems employ more than 70,000 persons statewide. About KershawHealth KershawHealth is a multi-faceted health care system with facilities in Camden, Elgin, Lugoff, Bethune and Kershaw. It offers a wide variety of medical, surgical, diagnostic, long-term care, home care, wellness and physical rehabilitation services. Founded in 1913, this not-for-profit health care system has always had close ties to the community. In nearly a century of service, its mission to provide all the citizens of Kershaw County and surrounding communities with quality, cost-effective, personalized health care and to improve their health and well-being has never altered.

04-19-2010 12:00 (EDT)