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Published in Alumni Publications on June 01, 2012

Nursing faculty, staff create in-situ simulation experience for residents

The patient fighting a post-partum hemorrhage was in the operating room, ventilated and ready for emergency surgery, when anesthesiology resident Dr. Lillian Zamora realized her CO2 monitor wasn’t working, meaning she couldn’t evaluate the patient’s breathing.

Fortunately, the patient was only a simulation manikin, but employing that manikin in a Winfred L. Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants OR taught a valuable lesson: how to communicate effectively in a high-stress real-world environment.

The joint service, in situ training exercise, a first of its kind at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, was a collaboration between the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing that provided medical residents with simulation experience in a real hospital setting.

“It’s about as good a blend of reality that we can get with the opportunity to put the residents in the same situation where they can be evaluated fairly,” said Dr. Jan Cooper, associate professor of nursing and director of the SON’s simulation center. “This is our first experience of doing in-situ training — actually bringing the simulators into the work environment, which makes the whole fidelity of the situation higher.”

“The reason that we’re doing this between anesthesiology and OB together in Wiser with the high-fidelity manikin is that this is the best way to work on one of the most elusive parts of medical care, which is teamwork in the setting that it occurs,” said Dr. John Bethea, assistant professor of anesthesiology.

The May 9-10 training exercise involved nursing faculty and staff who presented a labor-and-delivery scenario with the school’s Sim Mom simulator. After delivering the baby, the residents were required to diagnose a post-delivery emergency and transport the mother to the OR along with the help of actual OB nurses.

“Doing this type of simulation in clinical areas makes the residents ready for patient care and certification simulations,” said Bethea.

He added that the SON deserves special credit for devoting its time and resources when nursing students weren’t even involved.

“What it’s allowed me to do is to make more connections with the nurses up here,” Cooper said. “We could get together and determine if there’s a way to use simulation for the orientation of OB nurses and also for the training of nursing students. So it’s beginning to open those doors.”