Clinicians do not stop learning once they receive a degree or finish a residency or other post-graduate training. The health care industry is ever-evolving, continuously offering new techniques and more advanced equipment, and sharp minds come up with more efficient and effective methods of treatment every day.
To provide ongoing education for its clinicians and those at nearby facilities, Women & Infants Hospital recently unveiled the area’s only hospital-based Simulation Center dedicated exclusively to the needs of women and newborns. The hospital yesterday opened the doors for an open house and dedicated a valued piece of equipment, the LAP Mentor Simulator, to long-time obstetrician/gynecologist and laparoscopic surgeon Roger Ferland, MD, who died in 2008.
The concept of simulation is simple. The latest equipment –a girth suit designed to help clinicians learn to move obese patients, a tool that simulates the complexities of the birth process, a premature baby mannequin that is fully responsive to teach care with compromised newborns, etc. – is used to create realistic scenarios in which clinicians are able to learn and practice a variety of techniques. Simulations are followed by a facilitated group discussion with feedback from peers and the simulation specialist.
“Simulation-based medical education helps learners achieve confidence and competence through repetitive practice using tools that are incredibly realistic and life-like,” explains G. Jesse Bender III, MD, FAAP, co-director of the Simulation Program at Women & Infants. “Women & Infants has incorporated simulation into its education program for years as a method of keeping our practitioners advanced in the field and providing the safest, most effective, most empathetic and state-of-the-art patient care possible.”
This is possible, according to co-director Kyle Wolhrab, MD, because simulation:
- Helps improve team dynamics, improve communication and refine critical thinking skills, all of which improves outcomes
- Tests new equipment and develops training protocols to improve medical team communication and performance, reduce infections, decrease medical errors, reduce health care costs and improve patient outcomes
- Provides opportunities for practice and skill refreshing
- Provides opportunities to train for rare and potentially fatal events
- Functions as a laboratory to research and understand the potential safety issues associated with new techniques and protocols and to fully explore these risks before implementing them at Women & Infants
The Simulation Program provides health care providers with a variety of existing simulations, including:
- Adult and neonatal resuscitation
- Shoulder dystocia, forceps, breech deliveries
- Laporoscopic and robotic surgical procedures
- Obstetrical emergency protocol development
- Disaster and evacuation planning
- Leadership workshops
- Safe patient handling
- Difficult conversations in neonatology, obstetrics, gynecology and oncology
In addition, learners can work with Simulation Specialist Robin Shields, RNC-OB, to tailor a simulation to specific equipment or situation.
The Simulation Program is available to staff across Women & Infants as well as caregivers from other facilities and practices. For more information, call Shields at (401) 274-1122, ext. 1449.
About Women & Infants Hospital
Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. The primary teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the eighth largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country with nearly 8,400 deliveries per year. In 2009, Women & Infants opened the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.
New England’s premier hospital for women and newborns, Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s only mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.
Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Center of Excellence from the American College of Radiography; a Center for In Vitro Maturation Excellence by SAGE In Vitro Fertilization; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health; and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the National Institutes of Health’s Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.