VISN 23 conducts Post-Operative Rescue Course - VHA SimLEARN
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VISN 23 conducts Post-Operative Rescue Course

By David J. Adriansen, Ed.D., NREMT
VISN 23 Simulation Champion
Minneapolis VA Health Care System

MINNEAPOLIS Veteran Integrated Service Network (VISN) 23 launched an inaugural Post-Operative Rescue Course (PORC) on April 24 at the University of Nebraska for 15 fourth-year medical students.

Developed by Dr. Jason Johanning, VISN 23 chief medical officer, the PORC was designed to focus on mid-level provider responses to post-operative emergencies in the absence of surgical staff. 

During the course, Dr. Doug Paull, with the VA National Center for Patient Safety, highlighted cases of surgical errors and how to work toward a culture of safety. This one-day course consisted of minimal lecture time before a heavy concentration of break-out sessions for targeted simulation cases. These included responding to a graft disruption with distal disruption; anaphylaxis after receiving a new medication; and responding to a patient with a wired jaw and severe nausea and vomiting. 

The course was developed by Johanning as a collaborative effort with Dr. Matthew Goede and Kami Willett, RN, from the Omaha, Nebraska VA; Katie Phillips, RN, VISN 23 Tele-ICU; and Doctors Lisa Schlitzkus and Jessica Summers from the University of Nebraska. The course objectives were to prepare nurse practitioners, physician assistants and hospitalists confronted with unique post-surgical emergencies through simulation used to reinforce response training. 

Evaluations reflected a positive response to this inaugural class on surgical safety, and the consensus was that additional simulation training was desired. Plans are to offer this course within VISN 23 sites before eventually launching this course nationally.


Dr. Doug Paull, VA National Center for Patient Safety, discusses surgical safety during a PORC Course, Apr. 24, at the University of Nebraska. (VA courtesy photo)