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Vol. LIX, No. 25
December 14, 2007

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Simulation Provides Safe Space for CC Training

The Clinical Simulation Service team includes (from l) Dr. Amy Guillet Agrawal, Nancy Muldoon and Jill Sanko.

The Clinical Simulation Service team includes (from l) Dr. Amy Guillet Agrawal, Nancy Muldoon and Jill Sanko.

“Help, help! She’s been agitated all day and now I don’t think she’s breathing!”

Although a Clinical Center staffer is speaking these words, she is playing the role of a nurse in a “live action” scenario in the critical care medicine department’s clinical simulation classroom on the fourth floor of the CRC. The female patient is a computer-operated mannequin. She’s a resource available to CC and other NIH staff looking to polish their technical skills for unfamiliar or uncomfortable clinical procedures, practice critical thinking in an emergency and build team cohesion.

Simulation is being used at many hospitals and medical schools as a teaching device for students, residents and staff.

CCMD launched the service with purchase of a Laerdal SimMan and audiovisual package in 2003 to teach critical care medicine fellows—and eventually postgraduate nurses and respiratory therapists— how to respond in less frequently encountered emergency events. The high-fidelity, full-body mannequin, which is more advanced than the basic models used for CPR training, can simulate a number of events such as blocked airway, cardiac arrest or internal bleeding after surgery. The mannequins can also be used to practice a variety of other procedures including chest tube insertion, tracheostomies and periocardiocentesis. The mannequin can be shocked and intubated and can produce a variety of life-like heart and breathing sounds.

Training to lead simulation classes requires intensive orientation. Dr. Amy Guillet Agrawal and Jill Sanko, a nurse practitioner with NHLBI, both attended a week-long workshop at Harvard and began regular training sessions at the CC in January 2005.

The Clinical Simulation Service welcomes anyone with a training need to contact them at (301) 496-9320. NIH Record Icon

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