Transitions of care is a hot topic in medicine right now. When multiple teams treat a patient in multiple settings, communication and the understanding of each team’s role in treating the patient is paramount in successful outcomes.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of an accident or trauma. In order to surmount, indeed survive, what can be devastating injuries, multiple teams from law enforcement to EMS to ER departments all must work in perfect unison in service to the injured. The clock is ticking and there is little room for error.
Tony and Andrew Stimpson in northeast Indiana knew this all too well. Tony’s work as an Educator/Flight Paramedic for Lutheran Air & Ground CCT Team and Andrew’s experience as a Paramedic/RN and Injury Prevention Coordinator at Lutheran’s Level II Trauma Center offered them both the opportunity to see first-hand how critical training can be during such a life-threatening event.
They had experienced the Operative Experience high fidelity trauma simulators when working with local law enforcement. They were impressed with the simulator’s ability to be reactive to care and felt it would be a great training tool.
To their credit, they looked at their area’s training need holistically and wanted to offer a high-quality training event for all those involved in this most critical transition of care. They also felt deeply that they needed to provide real world exposure to the entire arc of care for all professionals that interact in these situations to improve communication–and ultimately care.
So they went to work recruiting care partners that might be able to help them put together a training offering with multiple goals:
1. Provide real world simulations that would challenge the entire treatment team, and
2. Share with each care team a realistic overview
of all the various players in a trauma transition
First, they sought out sponsors that could help them pull this off. They had the idea but needed resources so they could offer this symposium at no charge for teams that could benefit greatly but didn’t always have budget or time to send staff to this very important offering.
They must have been persuasive because the idea took off.
The Southwest Fire District sponsored the trauma symposium. The UAW Local 2209 offered their state-of-the-art facility and provided refreshments. Lutheran Hospital provided speakers, support staff and breakout sessions, and Operative Experience provided both male and female trauma care simulators along with an iSimulate REALITi simulated monitoring system for the sessions.
The design of the symposium was a full day of learning with ER and Trauma physicians providing trauma related presentations in the morning followed by skills stations in the afternoon that addressed real world scenarios such as airway management, wound packing, hemorrhage control, pediatric assessment and care in the afternoon.
Four simulation stations were set up–each with a facilitator and a trauma surgeon overseeing and driving the simulation. The teams were challenged to fix multiple problems and also prioritize those problems in order to provide patient care. Since the OEI mannequins are able to respond dynamically to changes made on an iPad by the physician and facilitators, they could provide “curveballs” in care which put pressure on them and made them think on their feet. It also provided one of the best learning tools–the ability to fail in a safe space and analyze that with their respective teams.
On top of these skills stations, the symposium also offered a “birds eye view” of the care transitions involved in a trauma case for all parties to see and explore. The entire arc of treatment was provided with a full scene scenario in a wrecked vehicle with fire doing extrication and EMS providing the initial response. Then Lutheran provided the helicopter to pick up the patient in the field and transfer into a mock ER, with trauma surgeons, ER docs and ER nurses.
Learners were able to observe the field situation and the rest was live-streamed back to the classroom so that everyone got to see and experience the transitions. This helped them understand what each team was looking for, what each team needed in the way of communication and what each needed to do right in the moment. This was a very valuable lesson for all to see.
The reaction from learners was fantastic. The session was offered free of charge and each participant received CE for the session. Over sixty people attended representing police, EMS, fire and hospital staff.
One nurse remarked “where has this been all my life?!” after participating in the sessions.
Tony and Andrew had never done anything at this scale before and were just hoping to be able to pull the day off successfully. The day surpassed their wildest expectations.
“We couldn’t have done this without OEI. The OEI mannequins brought it to another level. Even when thinking of cost, other programs charge $20 and you might get a t-shirt. EMS, for example, doesn’t get paid much and they don’t have budget to learn. We were trying to provide training to people who don’t have many training options. The fact that over 60 people from all walks attended and received CE for free was very rewarding. And the feedback we got was just overwhelming.“
Will they do it again? Absolutely.
Even their vendors want to participate in the next symposium. Their collective wheels are already turning on how to make it bigger and better next year. And they couldn’t have done it without their partners and sponsors:
• Southwest Fire District
• UAW Local 2209
• Lutheran Hospital Critical Care Transport Team,
Emergency Services and Trauma Service, as well as guest speakers, Dr. Mann, Dr. Smith, Dr. Scott and Dr. Pohlman.
• Ohio Nurses Association for CE
• Operative Experience, Inc.
Tony said it best:
“If we don’t master our skills, we’ve failed this team. If you are critically injured, you want the A team. That’s what it’s about at the end of the day. Train everyone so they have the ability and the skill set to do the right thing at the right time and there is a positive patient outcome.”