VISN 10 simulation collaboration works to increase simulation knowledge - VHA SimLEARN
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VISN 10 simulation collaboration works to increase simulation knowledge

By Kateri Gabriele, MS, RN, CHSE, Simulation Center Operations Manager
and Traci Ashworth, MSN, BSN, RN, Simulation Nurse Educator
Dayton VA Medical Center

DAYTON, Ohio – The newly combined Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN) 10 now covers Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. It includes 10 medical centers, 1 ambulatory care clinic and 58 community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) making it the second largest VISN in the VA system with plenty of Simulation-Based Learning (SBL) opportunities!

Showing a strong commitment to health care simulation, VISN 10 supported three separate simulation workshops during the summer and fall of 2017 at the Dayton VA Medical Center (VAMC) Simulation Center. Simulation best practices were shared during these workshops with presenters from across the VISN. These custom-tailored workshops addressed the specific needs identified by simulation representatives from each of the VAMCs, and they afforded an opportunity for face-to-face interaction yielding a strong network among the attendees.

Two representatives from each medical center were invited for the first "Simulation Nuts and Bolts." The workshop covered simulation basics and supported learners in programming their mannequins using a commercial application. Plenty of hands-on opportunities enabled the participants to leave with an increase in confidence and competence, as well as new simulation scenarios created during the workshop.

“This was so informative and pertinent that I look forward to more of the same at Dayton,” said one participant. This initial experience laid the groundwork for their next encounter three months later, when they returned for an intermediate workshop.

Simulation Nuts and Bolts 2.0 was also highly interactive with a customized agenda based on feedback from the first workshop. The focus was on debriefing skills and an introduction to standardized patients (SP) methodology to add to the VISN simulation tool boxes. Again, this workshop leveraged the skills and talents from across the VISN by having presenters from multiple VAMCs sharing their expertise. Some of the SP cases covered and created were suicide risk assessment, de-escalating disruptive behavior and providing excellence in customer service.

To showcase the value of SBL to other stakeholders, the third workshop focused on a different target audience. The Simulation in Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Workshop was a gathering of Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) Coordinators from around VISN 10 who were brought together to learn the basics of simulation best practices. The coordinators were then able to immediately put their new understanding to work by participating in and running several simulation scenarios requiring the use of SPHM concepts and equipment.

A follow up survey was distributed to attendees to assess the workshop outcomes three months after the last workshop. Respondents reported the following: implemented multiple new simulations since the workshop and plans for even more; changed their approach in debriefing by listening more and using debriefing tools. Respondents also reported being empowered to share with colleagues their new knowledge and skills acquired during the workshops. Reported obstacles for simulation include lack of time and space. Staff members continue to support VISN 10 simulation collaboration by holding bi-monthly meetings for their colleagues.

To learn more about simulation training, click here.
To learn more about SimLEARN, click here.