A year ago this month, the Coastal Simulation Program at Lions Gate Hospital lifted off. And the last year has been nothing short of amazing, says Karen Schafer, Education Lead, Simulation Strategy.
“The program has exceeded our expectations,” says Karen. “We are nearly at capacity with 16 days booked for 19 events this month, many of those day-long events.”
Simulation is an interactive learning and practice technique, often using high-tech manikins to create emergency situations or typical patient care scenarios that “simulate” reality for staff and teams to learn in a risk-free environment. It also provides an opportunity to improve systems and processes.
Simulation has long been recognized as a key learning method in high-risk professions, such as airline pilots. While using simulation for health care professionals would seem a natural fit, the challenge has always been making simulations realistic and meaningful without “real” patients.
Coastal’s high-fidelity manikins (SimMan, SimJr. and SimBaby), which are equipped with internal computers and can be made to talk, cough, sweat etc, are filling a vital educational need – providing clinicians with realistic situations in a safe and empowering environment to better prepare them for the real event.
Over the last year, Karen along with Dr. Shannon Chestnut, Medical Education Lead, Carrie Edge, Regional Clinical Educator and Dr. Chris Chin, Medical Simulation Education BC Children’s Hospital, have facilitated the training of more than 50 staff members to facilitate simulation education in their area of clinical practice. Most of these are nurse educators and physicians at LGH, which currently has 10 main teams of educators consistently providing simulation-based education.
“I’m amazed at how the momentum has built within the LGH community to support, encourage and demand more and more simulation events,” says Shannon. “The Foundation and senior administration have been champions of simulation and have helped us integrate it into life at LGH.”
Simulation-based courses currently supported include:
- ACLS – Advanced Cardiac Life Support
- PALS – Pediatric Advanced Life Support
- NRP – Neonatal Resuscitation Program
- MoreOB – Managing Obstetric Risk Efficiently
- STRUC – Simulation Trauma Resuscitation Update Course
- Mock code blues all over the hospital
- Insitu – Simulations on units: Pediatrics, Emergency and ICU
- Resident sims
- Hospital Orientation Day 2 & 3
- Emerg evening events at the Sim Centre
- Sechelt OR
- Squamish OR
And as of this month, all new nurses at LGH receive simulation training on Day 2 and 3 of their new hire orientation. The areas of focus are MSIP (Musculoskeletal injury prevention), the first five minutes of a code blue and safe blood transfusion.
This winter saw the beginning of the outreach portion of the Simulation Program. SimMan went on the road visiting Sechelt Hospital and Squamish General Hospital for OR scenarios. Plans to travel to up the coast and corridor are also in the works.
Karen and Shannon are looking forward to on-boarding new user groups and continuing to support the program’s current teams.
Later this year, a new large learning space will open in the Academic Hub on the 2nd floor of the HOpe Centre. This space gives priority to education and offers classrooms, meeting rooms, a clinical skills room, the library and a second sim room.
“I’m excited to what year two will bring with expansion into the community and more and more events,” says Shannon.