receive pediatric training
The Human Patient Simulation Lab from Idaho State University in Pocatello provided pediatric emergency training for area EMTs and the nursing staff of St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals last Thursday. The presentation focused on the recognition, assessment and treatment of infant respiratory illnesses. Jim Allen, ISU, Director of Human Simulation/Paramedic Instruction, College of Technology and Susan Gidding, RN, Life Flight Team, St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, reviewed common respiratory illnesses in infants and children.
The Sim Labs use full sized manikins that produce life-like physiological replications of health or disease states that respond to medical treatments. The manikins are controlled through a computer software program that simulates medical conditions and records the responses or interventions made by the care provider. These responses can then be analyzed by the software program to provide feedback.
“We observed life like infant manikins who were ‘breathing’ normally and then, with input from the software program, we observed infants who were in obvious respiratory distress. The participants listened to simulated heart and lung sounds then practiced putting in airways and ventilating them,” said Iris Hawley, SMH Director of Patient Services. “The software could make the babies cry, make distress sounds like when an infant is having problems and trying to breathe. They then showed us what supraclavicular or subcostal retractions looked like. They could even slow down or speed up the respirations and make the babies lips turn cyanotic. It simulated a true emergency situation and allowed our personnel to practice interventions in a life-like setting.”
According to the program description, the software provides immediate feedback on the provider’s appraisal of the patient situation and their intervention choices. “It is through these critical elements that students learn to interpret, perform tasks and evaluate patients utilizing key psychomotor skills and decision-making. The goal of simulation is to challenge and validate all skills, basic and complex, through a variety of scenarios that replicate common and uncommon patient management. Through this opportunity student and seasoned professionals alike have a chance to participate in a zero risk/high yield setting to practice, build confidence and affect safety for both the provider and patient.”
Over 25 nursing staff members, EMTs and respiratory therapists at both facilities participated in the two sessions. The ISU College of Technology also has Human Patient Simulation Labs that provide training in emergency medicine, obstetrics, pharmacology, nursing care and other technical health care skills. Their mobile labs are located in Pocatello, Boise and Idaho Falls. They travel to locations in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Washington and Oregon to provide training.
“Our staff learned a lot in a controlled setting,” said Sue Higgins, CVHC Director of Nursing Services. “Having a lifelike manikin that replicates the motions and responses of a human to nursing interventions and providing immediate feedback is an excellent training opportunity. We would like to make arrangements to have them return and train us in the other areas, also. Our staff is continually being trained to increase their skill sets to better serve our patients.”