Between May 28-31, BRTC’s RN and respiratory students were able to simulate a high-acuity neonatal situation. The scenario centered around a premature infant, 25-weeks-old weighing 1 pound, 14.5 ounces, with multiple needs. The simulations were held in BRTC’s new Health Science building on the Pocahontas campus.
Because real-life emergencies cannot be scheduled to occur when students are attending class at clinical sites, even the larger hospitals—and because such emergencies in Northeast Arkansas are less common than in major cities— students frequently go through their entire education without being involved with or seeing certain emergencies. This is especially true of emergencies involving babies and children.
However, simulation equipment composed of anatomically correct manikins and high-powered software allow students to gain hands-on experience with such emergencies without the risk of patient fatality.
BRTC nursing and respiratory faculty, with help from the maintenance department, set up a neonatal ICU in the nursing building and utilized equipment from the nursing, respiratory, and EMT/paramedic departments. St. Bernard’s Medical Center in Jonesboro and Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould also loaned equipment for the scenario.
Students were broken into groups of 5-6 and were able to spend 30 minutes in simulation. Through simulation, students were able to have rare, realistic, hands-on experience which will dramatically improve their level of skill in helping future patients.
By Bridgette Kasinger