Simulation and safe patient handling; Working together to prevent staff and patient injuries - VHA SimLEARN
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Simulation and safe patient handling; Working together to prevent staff and patient injuries

By Amanda Morrow BSN, RN
Education Consultant
Roseburg VA Health Care System

EUGENE, Ore. – The Roseburg VA Health Care System’s Simulation Instructor Amanda Morrow and Safe Patient Handling (SPH) Program Coordinator Cindy Germain worked together while performing an annual Mock Code in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) area at the Community Health Care Center in Eugene. A pre-briefing was held to elevate the confidence of staff and familiarize them with the process.

During this pre-briefing, a patient and staff safety issue was identified before the Mock Code involving a gurney. While reviewing the process, the MRI safe gurney was used with the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) mannequin. It was brought out of the MRI room and was lowered to provide good chest compressions. This MRI table can hold up to 600 pounds. However, it was realized during lowering that if the patient had been over 200 pounds staff would have had a very difficult time managing to lower the gurney. The gurney dropped, which could cause an injury.

Because of the pre-briefing, staff chose to make it part of their MRI Code process to not only bring the patient out of the MRI room, but to also use a stool for compressions instead of lowering the gurney. The Mock Code went well, and no one was injured. The main lesson here is that the weight capacity of the MRI table and gurney is not the only thing that should be considered; the ability to move the patient and do chest compressions have to be considered as well. The safe patient handling program coordinator is looking into alternative bariatric MRI safe gurneys.

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