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Critical Care Simulation Lab Helps With Patient Safety
Critical Care Simulation Lab Helps With Patient Safety
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cookeville Regional Medical Center now houses a critical care simulation lab in ICU to help their nurses with continuing education and practicing techniques for patient safety.

The lab is set up with a mannequin and the equipment one would find in ICU/CVICU rooms for nurses to practice with.

“Nurses can get hands-on experience with the equipment in a safe environment,” said Angela Craig, clinical nurse specialist at Cookeville Regional Medical Center.   “It is also helpful for new hires to be able to go in and practice with their preceptors.”

The simulation lab that opened about six months ago is being used quite a bit at the medical center.

“We first rolled this lab out with our preceptors to let them know that this is a great place for their nurses to go and run through scenarios. Because every case is different, we know that they can’t run through every scenario, but this a place where they can come together and try to recreate that,” said Craig. “I use this every month and respiratory uses this lab as well.”

Teresa Jones, director of ICU/CVICU at CRMC, added “We also use this for competency that we complete every year to make sure our nurses are maintaining competency in things they don’t touch frequently.”

Tennessee Tech’s nursing school has a simulation lab that CRMC is able to use as well.

“Their lab is more advanced and we are able to set up a time and go over there if we need to,” said Jones. “However, it isn’t always feasible to go over there.  Having this lab here at our facility that is set up all the time is great for nurses to be able to walk over to the lab and work on something he or she needs to.”

Medical equipment and technology changes are not new in the clinical setting and this lab provides nurses with an opportunity to become familiar with those changes.

“This absolutely helps with training of new medical equipment and technology since they change in healthcare so often,” said Jones.

In the Institute of Medicine report “To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health Care System,” simulation is recommended as one strategy that can be used to prevent errors in the clinical setting. The report states that “health care organizations and teaching institutions should participate in the development and use of simulation for training novice practitioners, problem solving and crisis management, especially when new and potentially hazardous procedures and equipment are introduced.”

 “The whole purpose of this room is to help prevent medical errors. You can go in this room and make a mistake and we can catch it and correct before it is a patient,” said Jones.

Craig adds, “It’s better for the nurse to encounter it in the lab instead of when they are by the patient’s bed-side. The lab is a safe environment where they can ask questions and learn more about it. We are thrilled to have this available to our nurses at Cookeville Regional.”

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Photo: Practicing in the Critical Care Simulation Lab from the left is Kristy Wright, R.N. in ICU and Jessica Heady-Dawes, R.N. in ICU.

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