Excursion KABEG Klinikum Klagenfurt: Extend Medical Device Knowledge

Just before the semester ended, our 2nd-semester bachelor students filled with knowledge about medical devices after taking the “Medizinische Gerätekunde” course, visited the KABEG Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee and were able to see how they are applied in clinical practice. Our two guides, DI Martina Preiml and DI Stefan Spielvogel of the Medical Technology Department guided us through the shock room, the intensive care unit (ICU), the dialysis unit, and the surgery unit.

Dr Roland Steiner presented the different devices within the shock room and spoke about the importance of fast treatment of incoming patients. The students were able to identify the ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) as an important device to substitute the functionalities of the heart and/or the lungs – much to the liking of the accompanying lecturer. The CT scanner right next to the shock room gave an outlook of what awaits the students in the medical imaging lecture in the 4th semester. Moreover, Dr Steiner guided us to the intensive care unit (ICU) where we saw the various devices that help to monitor and treat the patients. Among respirators, infusion pumps and other devices, we were in rooms of the ICU, that integrate specialized lights for daylight therapy, or that can control the pressure inside, e.g. to treat patients that have immune deficiency.

Another station was the dialysis unit where the technician Ing. Gerald Weyrer shared his passion for dialysis machines and explained to us the different tasks the machine has to perform on a daily basis. He described the principle of diffusion, showed us the central component of the dialysis machine that helps patients filter the waste products from the blood, and even allowed us to take a look into the osmosis room, where the water for the dialysis treatments is purified.

At the last stop, we changed into surgical attire including trousers, shirt, shoes, mask and cap and entered the restricted area of the operating rooms, together with our guides Karin Haslauer and colleague Gerald Jan. We called in the hospital’s own robots and watched how they come to pick up the waste and contaminated instruments after surgeries and bring the sterile instruments back to the operating unit. Afterwards, we followed the patient’s path from the preparation space to the operating room. There, we learned about the modern robotic surgical system that has been in Klagenfurt since March 2023. Not only did we get a tour around the robot, but we could even try by ourselves how the surgeons control the robot arms during surgery.

And what do our students say about this excursion?

The excursion was very interesting and informative. We were given many insights into various areas, the highlight being the DaVinci robot. The staff were kind and showed passion, which was evident in the way they explained things and the time they took to spend with us.

To bring the course to a pleasant conclusion, Dr. Venek gave us an insight into the application of the knowledge we had learned. Under the guidance of DI Martina Preiml and DI Stefan Spielvogel, we were given a comprehensive insight into various areas of the hospital. The ward-related specialist staff as well as the two guides answered our questions in detail and understandably, so that no open points remained at the end of the excursion. Particularly impressive was the DaVinci surgical robot and the variety of treatment methods that we were able to learn about during this excursion.

We want to thank our guides Martina Preiml and Stefan Spielvogel, the people on-site as well as the head of the Medical Technology Department, DI Albert Kutej, that made this excursion possible and remarkable.

MedTech @ FH Kärnten Team