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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Naval Hospital Bremerton's Simulation Lab Provides Latest in Medical Training

y MC1 (SW/AW) James Evans Coyle, NHB Public Affairs
BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Bremerton's Simulation Center (Sim Lab) expanded training options were on full display for doctors, nurses, hospital corpsmen and other staff Jan 14.

NHB's Simulation Center has existed for more than three years to provide healthcare providers with a chance to accurately replicate the experience of giving patient care. These tasks can range from the mundane to highly complex and can cover every skill level.

"The mission (of the Sim Lab) is to develop and maintain the skills of our healthcare staff and become the go-to source of skills development for regionally based military personnel," said NHB's Sim Lab Program Manager Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Blake Hite.

According to Hite, the Sim Lab's goal is to develop both didactic and kinesthetic skills through the use of low, medium, and high fidelity simulation. These realistic simulations build communication skills, develop leaders in high stress situations, and keep important yet sometimes rarely used skills honed.

With the latest addition of their state-of-the-art "SimMan," a medical mannequin with cutting edge technology, the Sim Lab can ensure the training learned equates to increased benefits for actual patients.

"The SimMan can be programmed for many different types of medical conditions such as cardiac arrest, various bronchial and endoscope procedures. Sim Man 3G is our newest mannequin. Unfortunately, he is not quite ready to go live yet, but when he is it will be impressive. He has everything from fluctuating pupil sizes from LED lights to the ability to be put on a ventilator. This mannequin will be almost completely wireless and will really push the immersion to a new level. The more immersed a student is the more realistic we can make things seem, especially with stress and working on communication," said Hite.

"Our Simulation Center is capable of a broad range of skill training, such as suturing, birthing drills, intubations, inserting NG tubes, central line insertions using sonosites, and many more. We can even do certain procedures such as broncoscopies and endoscopies. The birthing simulator and emergency neo-resuscitation situations are frequently utilized by doctors, nurses and hospital corpsman," Hite said.

According to Medical Simulation Contractor Doug Jones, the SimMan's human-like responses will eventually become a reality when the SimMan will be able to talk directly to the doctors and nurses engaged in the training.

"The way it will soon work is that I or one of the other simulation instructors will be on a wireless microphone from another room, and we'll be able to create a scenario through the voice box of the SimMan complaining of various ailments and disorders," said Jones. "The doctor or nurse will come in, SimMan will say, for example, 'I'm having chest pains.' People involved in the training will also see that SimMan's heart rate has maybe skyrocketed. The people training can then administer medication." said Jones.

"Our patients benefit the most. The advantage is we don't have to learn in a real life situation. We can practice the skills we will need in cases and work out the kinks before we go on to do the real thing," added Hite.

NHB's Training and Education Department Head, Lt. Cmdr. Ronald Cleveland attests that the SimMan and the Simulation Center's mission of "Quality Care, Patient Safety and Lead Team Dynamics" will continue to be available to other health care facilities in the local community.

"We're incorporating more PQS (Personnel Qualification Standards) needed by all ship-board medical personnel in this area who are using and will continue to utilize our Sim Lab. We've specifically been an excellent resource for Sailors going out in the field," said Cleveland.

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