22 December 2023 – As part of the EMPOWER FOR 21 project, which is supported by the Norway Grants, the inauguration of a laparoscopic simulator took place at the Faculty of Medicine. The advanced equipment will enable medical students to perform processes and experiments in a controlled environment outside a living organism.
EMPOWER FOR 21 is the acronym of the project with the full title: Empowering for Work in the 21st Century through Life Skills, Promotion of Wellbeing and Prevention of Mental Disorders. The project promoter, the University Medical Centre Maribor, together with partners University of Maribor, Faculty of Medicine and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NOR), aims to create, through teacher training for communication, leadership, mental health and teaching critical thinking, long-term teacher training EMPOWER FOR 21 as a long-term mechanism to better prepare teachers to teach professionals in higher education and also at work (development of sustainable teacher training to teach competent professionals in healthcare). The project responds to societal challenges demanding that an expert of the 21st century is not only competent in his/her profession, but also acts as a co-creator of the wider society, which he/she serves through his/her leadership and responses to the fundamental challenges of the environment.
At the event, which took place on 13 December 2023, a representative of the company responsible for supplying the simulator gave a practical demonstration of its use and provided comprehensive information on the simulator itself and its operation. Participants had the opportunity to try out the simulator for themselves, which further contributed to a better understanding of its functionality.
A fruitful debate also developed among the participants on the possibility of using the simulator among the specialists and on the inclusion of the advanced device in the curriculum. The laparoscopic simulator is a modern device that allows medical students to simulate surgical procedures. In doing so, they are confronted with procedural problems that allow them to develop and strengthen their critical thinking skills during procedures.
Within the EMPOWER FOR 21 project, the Faculty of Medicine and the University Medical Centre Maribor are working to further integrate the laparoscopic simulator into the educational curriculum so that students have as many opportunities as possible to gain practical experience and improve their skills before entering the clinical environment.
With this project and the simulator, project partners are reinforcing the excellence of education system and ensuring that future health professionals receive the best possible training for their future careers.