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Northern Clinical Simulation program plays key role in training staff during COVID-19 response…

PRINCE GEORGE, BC: The Northern Clinical Simulation program has been proactive in supporting and facilitating teaching sessions about managing various critical COVID-19 patient scenarios.

The Northern Clinical Simulation program uses life-sized, anatomically correct mannequins, known as “simulators,” to provide realistic training for health care professionals. The simulators, which can breathe, speak, and bleed, provide practise in dealing with births, hemorrhages, broken limbs, heart attacks, and, in this case, treating patients with COVID-19. This lets health care professionals get hands-on experience practising as a team while developing new skills without risk to patients.

(These life-like simulators play a critical role in training staff and physicians as a team.)

“Using simulation has been key in helping our staff,” says Karen Clare, a clinical nurse educator for the emergency department at UHNBC. “It prepares us and helps to alleviate the anxiety around safely caring for these patients.”

Recently, the University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC) medical and nurse educators developed airway and cardiac arrest scenarios based on algorithms developed by UHNBC working groups. Shared information from critical care and emergency specialists throughout Canada and the world helped inform these working groups to develop up-to-date protocols for managing COVID-19.

Intensivists, anaesthesiologists, emergency department physicians, respiratory therapists, and emergency department and critical care nurses participated in the scenarios. Staff donned mock personal protective equipment for the scenarios, which taught:

  1. Airway management of patients with COVID-19
  2. Cardiac arrest management of patients with COVID-19
  3. Transfer of patients via the COVID Response Transfer Team, a partnership between BC Health Emergency Services and UHNBC

These sessions were broadcast live to a nearby conference room for viewing and debriefing to allow for physical distancing. The attendee turnout was impressive, and shows how motivated Northern Health is to address the challenges of COVID-19.

Written and released by Northern Health. By: Daniel Ramcharron.

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