Healthcare Simulation Week Held at Dayton VAMC - VHA SimLEARN
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Healthcare Simulation Week Held at Dayton VAMC

Violet Darden, MSN, AGCNS-BC
Simulation Nurse
Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center

DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton VA Medical Center (VAMC) simulation center celebrated Healthcare Simulation Week for the first time this fall. Healthcare Simulation Week, which runs from Sept. 17 – 21, globally celebrates professionals who use simulation to improve safety, quality and efficiency of health care delivery. During the week, simulation center staff held simulation-based learning (SBL) opportunities in the simulation center and throughout the medical facility for staff and Veterans to promote multiple forms of health care simulation.

On Monday, the facility’s newest mannequin, “Alex,” a patient communication simulator, visited with Veterans and staff throughout the medical facility. He was programmed to speak about Healthcare Simulation Week and promote the Simulation Center. Tuesday was Open House day in the simulation center. The Open House provided an opportunity to explore the space and participate in activities such as “Staying Alive” and “Groovy Lights” allowing visitors to practice Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and handwashing skills. They traveled to the main lobby of the medical center on Wednesday with simulation equipment to allow Veterans, visitors and employees the ability to experience aspects of the simulation center. The Veterans seemed to especially enjoy the Laparoscopy Virtual Reality trainer, likening the movements to playing a video game and competing to see who was the most accurate.

Thursday was designed to be the most fun and memorable day of the week. Medical Center employees competed in a type of Escape Room Race in the simulation center. There were eight teams of four staff each who had to solve puzzles and use clues to find the final answer to simulation based topics. No prior knowledge was needed to participate successfully which appealed to a mixture of nonclinical and clinical medical center staff. Immediate feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to offering the activity again to achieve teamwork and communication learning objectives.

On the last day of the week, Patient Safety Simulation Games were held in the simulation center. Focusing on the Joint Commission’s 2018 Patient Safety Goals, activities were planned throughout the center to focus on some of these goals. A simulated Suicide Risk Assessment and Fall Risk Assessment room was set up where participants observed the hazards to patient safety within each room. A Patient Identification Concentration Game was also created. This activity allowed staff to see how important verifying two forms of identification is to keep our Veterans safe.

The simulation center staff reached more than 100 employees, Veterans and visitors during Healthcare Simulation Week with the goal of advertising their services to the medical center. Plans are in the works to celebrate the event again in 2019.