Using Simulation in the Hospital Setting

Monday, 7 July 2008
Patricia Diane Widman, RN, BSN, CCRN , Nursing Education, CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, Corpus Christi, TX

Learning Objective 1: Increase awareness of Simulation Technology as a teaching method in the health care setting

Learning Objective 2: Learn how Simulation Technology can create a patient safe learning environment

The quality of health care in the United States has been an inflammatory issue causing public debate since the 1999 report from the Institute of Medicines (IOM) “To Err is Human” (IOM, 2000).

Does the complex nature of today's nursing practice contribute to the rapid increase in medical errors? Can nurses identify the signs and symptoms of a patients deteriorating condition and make the necessary critical decisions to rescue the patient?

One innovative approach is to use Human Patient Simulation (HPS) technology. Nationwide, colleges and university nursing program are using HPDS technology in addition to traditional teaching methods. Why are hospitals not accepting this method of training?

We tested 42 telemetry nurses from two units (rural, urban) on four modules: ACS; CHF; COPD; Post Op. Each nurse was evaluated individually on their ability to assess and implement interventions to rescue the patient.

Pretest showed less that 50% of the time, these nurses was unable to recognize the signs and symptoms of deterioration in the simulated patient. (The ability to recognize a decrease in trends for the modules was: ACS – 45%; CHF – 52%; COPD – 43%; Post Op – 40 %).

There was markedly improvement in nurses' ability to rescue patients. Nurses evidenced to be more at ease recognizing deteriorating conditions, calling rapid response team and preparing patient for transfer. The ability to recognize a decrease in trends for each module: ACS – 96%; CHF – 96%; COPD – 100%; Post Op – 92%.

As nursing educators we need to change to focus of nursing education to provide practical experience that will enhance the bedside nurse's ability to recognize and respond to changes in their patient's condition. Using the HPS will provide nurses the opportunity to practice patient rescue skills and will results in improved patient outcomes and safety.