BY AMBER HANSEN
LAYTON — Charter school students tested their hand-eye coordination skills on some of the most high- tech surgical equipment at Davis Hospital early this month.
Davis Hospital has a new piece of equipment called The Da Vinci Surgical System.
“It’s a piece of equipment that is very precise, you’re seeing in 3-D, so your depth perception is increased,” said Kim Gunlock, clinical sales representative for the Da Vinci Surgical System. “It has intuitive motion, so your right is right and left is left. Everything mimics your movements. This is advanced laparoscopy, with wrists.”
Two groups of students from NUAMES, the Northern Utah Academy for Math, Electronics and Science, pitted their skills against each other as they tried the equipment. Each student got the chance to use a demo surgical system, identical to the one that the hospital now has.
They worked with the robotic “hands” to pick up tiny rubber bands and tie them together. Students also used the equipment to test their skills at sorting and were scored on their efficiency and coordination.
The highest scorers on that challenge were then challenged with a computerized surgical situation.
Two students walked away with $100 gift cards, courtesy of Davis Hospital, as well as a $250 donation to NUAMES.
“We wanted it to be memorable, and we thought if we gave a prize it would be more memorable,” explained Diane Townsend. “We were just excited to let the kids come in and give it a try. It’s no fun to just watch and not play.”
Students Alex Burnett and Kevin Menegos were impressed with the experience.
“It was perfect, as if it were your hand,” said Burnett, winner of one of the $100 prizes. Menegos added, “It was definitely out of the ordinary!”
He would be comfortable having a surgery done with the Da Vinci System, he said.
“I definitely would be confident,” he said, “especially if the surgeon was capable with the machine.”
This new technology is available across the Wasatch Front, but Davis Hospital can provide three extra services: single site access, fluorescent imaging and a vessel sealer.