Ryan Kraemer, MD & Andres Viles, MSN, RN


IMG 2025 2The UAB Internal Medicine Residency program was still able to hold its 9th annual Code Week from Monday, July 6 through Thursday, July 9 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Code Week is designed to give the second year internal medicine residents the tools they need to successfully lead codes at UAB. In prior years, participating nurses, respiratory therapists, and pharmacy students also learned valuable ACLS and teamwork/communication skills. This year, due to social distancing, we were not able to include nursing or respiratory therapy, but we were able to include pharmacy learners. UAB Clinical Simulation/OIPS coordinated the program, which included 36 internal medicine residents and five pharmacy students. The session was similar to prior years, except the code groups were smaller to allow for more social distancing; everyone wore masks (note: chest compressions are an extra workout wearing an N-95!), and strict enhanced cleaning protocols were followed. The participants were divided into small groups, which included several MDs and a pharmacy student. After a brief introduction, the code blue alert sounded, and participants had to rush to the bedside to begin the code. Using the high-fidelity manikins, the OIPS team simulated a realistic code scenario. The code team had to assess the patient and work together to provide proper ACLS care. After the first case, each team debriefed with a faculty member and ACLS/simulation expert. We focused on teaching proper communication, establishing roles, and proper ACLS team function in addition to ACLS algorithm knowledge. Each team then had the opportunity to practice their skills through Rapid Cycle Deliberate Practice (RCDP) in a second case. With RCDP, the faculty member and UAB Clinical Simulation/OIPS team periodically interrupted the case to provide brief teaching points and then let the team resume the case and practice. Comments from the participants were overwhelmingly positive with many commenting how much more effective the code was after practicing closed-loop communication and defined roles. The RCDP session was again a favorite of the group. This was a large effort to pull off successfully, and a big thanks is owed to Andres Viles, April Belle, Ben Whitaker, Teldra McCord, Brian Mezzell, Alex Morton, Shelby May, Jason Morris, Winter Williams, the Internal medicine chief medical residents, and the entire UAB Clinical Simulation/OIPS team.