UAB took a giant step forward toward building a world-class simulation training program for health professionals across campus when 21 participants, including 14 from the School of Medicine and UAB Hospital, completed an extensive week-long course here led by faculty from the Center for Medical Simulation at Harvard.
Simulation training uses mannequins that mimic a multitude of patient conditions and responses in very life-like settings. It provides students real-world scenarios – from how to communicate with patients or concerned family members to emergent situations – in a safe environment. It affords faculty the chance to challenge students and provide immediate feedback.
School of Medicine and UAB Hospital participants represented Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anesthesiology, Infectious Diseases, GI Surgery and the branch campuses in Montgomery, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa. Now their charge is to become champions of simulation by developing and leading projects specific to their disciplines.
“The goal is to have a simulation experience in every basic course for all students at all four campuses. This is an amazing first step,” said Marjorie Lee White, M.D., associate professor of Pediatrics, director of Medical Student Simulation and interim co-director of the Office of Interprofessional Simulation for Innovative Practice.
The week’s training, White said, “was a tremendous success.”
“The week following the course the entire medical student class and several nursing students went through simulation training, and many of the newly trained faculty from the Hospital, the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine were able to put their newly developed skills to work. The evaluations from the sessions were overwhelmingly positive.”
The Center for Medical Simulation to send faculty to Birmingham for a week acknowledges how seriously UAB has embraced simulation by a critical mass of faculty and administrators, White said.
The Office of Interprofessional Simulation for Innovative Clinical Practice, established by in 2011 by Provost Linda Lucas, Ph.D. and UAB Health System CEO Will Ferniany, Ph.D., includes representatives from each of UAB’s health affairs schools and the health system, ensuring that students from dentistry, optometry, respiratory therapy and other disciplines have access to high-tech training. It also fosters a “team medicine” environment, in which professionals from multiple health fields – such as nurses, physicians and respiratory therapists – learn to work together, incorporating various perspectives to improve patient care and safety.
“We will continue to identify opportunities for training where there is organic symmetry and where there is need,” White said. “For instance, physician assistant students and dental students need to know how to take care of office emergencies. We can provide that training in a simulated environment.”
The Health Services Foundation’s General Endowment Fund has awarded grant funding to an interprofessional team of faculty to renovate former lab space in Volker Hall into simulation areas. Other potential resources and collaborations are also being pursued, White said, including existing facilities that some branch campuses have access to.
Scott Arnold, M.D., School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa Campus
April Belle, R.N., UAB Hospital
Kelly Dailey, M.D., School of Nursing
Laura Grostick, M.D., School of Medicine, Huntsville Campus
Marquita Hicks, M.D., School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine
David James, DNP., R.N., UAB Hospital
Jerry King, R.T., School of Health Professions
Kirk Knodsen, CRNA, UAB Hospital
Summer Langston, DNP, CRNP, School of Nursing
Kris Maday P.A., School of Health Professions
Carmel McNicholas-Bevensee, Ph.D., School of Medicine, Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology
Gwen Pernell, R.N., UAB Hospital
Tedra Simmons, CRNP, School of Nursing
Melanie Sivley, O.D., School of Optometry
Richard Stahl, M.D., School of Medicine, Department of Surgery
Brad Steenwyk M.D., School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesia
Chere' Stewart, M.D., School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Ken Tilashalski, O.D., School of Dentistry
Andres Viles, R.N., UAB Hospital
James Willig, M.D., School of Medicine, Department of Medicine
Ken Wool, M.D., School of Medicine, Montgomery Campus