Educating and preparing health care providers for the medical situations they encounter is the main mission of the UC Davis Center for Simulation and Education Enhancement and continues to be the focus as the simulation team helps providers adjust to COVID-19 patient care.
Since late March, the simulation team, simulation fellows, faculty and nurses have held twice daily training sessions helping frontline and ICU providers caring for patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Trainings have been conducted in situ (in the hospital) and at the simulation center with a focus on the proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE), the latest airway management protocols, patient screening and testing, management of patients in shock and cardiac arrest, and more.
“It’s important for us to conduct these simulations so our health care providers feel informed, comfortable and safe treating patients during this challenging time,” said Ian Julie, associate professor of emergency medicine and medical director for the Center. “We want to ensure we’re protecting ourselves, our colleagues and our patients to the best of our ability.”
On Tuesday, April 28, the Center hosted its first back-to-back Code Blue team training sessions on COVID-19 for more than 50 health care providers. A Code Blue is an emergency in which a patient is in cardiopulmonary arrest and needs resuscitation. Each two-hour training session included a didactic presentation with small group discussion and Q&A, followed by a high-fidelity simulation scenario in the Center.
Susan Gourley, simulation instructor and co-chair of the Code Blue Committee, said the COVID-19 trainings are designed to help orient participants to the role each person plays on the Code Blue team, practice communication in conserving PPE, as well as provide a safe, low-risk place to practice clinical and collaborative skills.
“We’re working on better communication and role identification in a situation that is fast-paced and often hectic,” Gourley said. “We want to make sure everyone who needs to be in the room with the patient is present, but also keep providers safe and reduce exposure as much as possible.”
Those invited to participate in the trainings included members of the Lift Team, Action/Rapid Response Team, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, medical intensive care unit (MICU) fellows and attendings, nurses, and physicians.
Instructor Emma Blackmon, who helped create the curriculum, deliver the trainings and design and conduct mock codes in the hospital, said including a multidisciplinary team of health care providers in the trainings is important as it provides different perspectives and the opportunity for everyone to practice collaboratively and align strategies.
“We want to make sure we’re addressing questions and concerns, easing any anxieties people may have and making sure we’re all on the same page,” Blackmon said. “It’s all about protecting ourselves and each other.”
The next Code Blue training session is scheduled for Thursday, May 7 in the simulation center.
“We’re grateful for everyone’s patience and willingness to come and participate,” Blackmon said.
UC Davis Center for Simulation and Education Enhancement
The UC Davis Center for Simulation and Education Enhancement is a state-of-the-art health care simulation center focused on interprofessional medical education and research activities. Since its humble beginnings on the first floor of the UC Davis Medical Center, the simulation Center has grown to include more than 10,000 square feet of dedicated simulation space on the third floor of the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology. In addition to patient simulators with advanced lifelike physiology, the Center features a trauma bay, operating room, inpatient unit, six-bay patient ward area, task training room, technology enhanced classrooms and standardized patient exam rooms. It’s accredited as a Comprehensive Education Institute by the American College of Surgeons. For more information, visit health.ucdavis.edu/simulation.