Simulation Training Leads to Better Preparedness


The Event:

A man falls from a ladder while picking apples. The fall is so intense that he is transported to Meritus Medical Center for trauma care. When he arrives, his injuries are so severe, he needs a blood transfusion and immediate surgery.

His care needs are complex and require careful and quick coordination from an advanced team of caregivers.

This was the scenario that played out in January during a simulation-based training.

Coordinator Matthew Dorsey, BSN, RN, has been a nurse for 20 years and has been running simulator-training exercises for more than a decade.

“By running these exercises, we have the opportunity to create complex scenarios,” he said. “For the past 12 years I have been running simulator-training exercises, but never one on this level.”

Members of all different disciplines from Meritus Medical Center’s emergency department, operating room, anesthesia participated in the multi-day training event.

Dorsey said simulation equipment is paramount to quality care – the training equipment provides real-time training, in a safe and risk-free environment.

“This training will undoubtedly save a real life by offering our teams just a realistic experience. We all learned so much,” Dorsey said.

The Patient:

The teams provided care to “SimMan” during the training. The simulator looks, acts and reacts to care like a real patient would.

“They can blink, cry and sweat,” Dorsey said. “They can create difficult airway situations for advanced practice. We can introduce a chest tube into them.”

During this training, the caregivers, just as they would in real-life, were given some basic information about his injuries.

When they assessed him, they quickly had to make a care plan for internal trauma injuries, massive blood loss and prep him for emergency surgery.

The equipment put caregivers through real-time challenges that required them to quickly adapt and try other treatment options, such as a chest tube, mass blood transfusion, and other interventions.

Throughout the scenario, the caregivers used their existing training in TeamStepps, an evidence-based framework which offers enhanced coordination and communications.

“We want to be as prepared as possible to care for any trauma scenario that requires our expertise,” Dorsey explained. “Learning in real-time but in a safe way means our teams have the confidence and experience for different real-life situations. We are so appreciative of the community members who made this training possible – because of them, we are better prepared.”

“We are here for this community, so this training was truly a full-circle moment,” he added.

Sim lab photos

Community Support:

The simulation equipment was purchased with donations from the community to the Meritus Healthcare Foundation. Equipment that costs between $60,000 and $100,000.

Generosity from our community has made possible the purchase of simulators in the forms of a male patient, pregnant patient, infant patient and an adolescent that are all used by the teams at Meritus Medical Center to enhance their skills.

Supporting training allows team members to stand better prepared to care for our friends and neighbors when they need it the most.

Give now to the Meritus Healthcare Foundation.