University of North Carolina

Burnett-Womack Research Building

Chapel Hill, NC

The renovation of the building focused on upgrading the facility to current laboratory standards, creating large open laboratories to promote interdisciplinary research among departments, and to provide health care instruction space.

The improvements included lowering the main entrance one full story so it is now universally accessible; enlarging windows and adding new windows to allow natural light far into the floor; and a new 3,000 sf BSL-3 laboratory on the top floor.

The Clinical Skills Center provided the faculty with 15 fully functioning examination rooms (rather than laboratories) in which to teach and test clinical skills. With an audiovisual monitoring room, a 30-person classroom, and a Human Patient Simulation Lab, the center can house multiple teaching and assess­ment exercises simultaneously.

Standardized Patients, “patient actors” are trained to portray case scenarios to assist in teaching and evaluating health professions students. The center also uses human patient simulators which are com­puter-driven, full-size mannequins that blink, breath, speak, have a heartbeat and pulse, and accurately respond to such procedures as CPR, intravenous medication, intubation, ventilation, and catheterization. The simulators’ systems can be pro­grammed to deliver scenarios that change to meet instructors’ goals.

Monitoring systems collect data from students’ interactions with standardized patients and human patient simulators in order to document and assess student performance. The system also provides video archiving so that after a session, students can see a video of their performance and faculty can review videos from their offices via the Internet.


Practice Areas

Medical Education