Tampa Simulation Bus Featured at Conference - VHA SimLEARN
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Tampa Simulation Bus Featured at Conference

By Gerald Sonnenberg
EES Marketing and Communication

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida -- The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital (JAHVH) in Tampa, Florida utilizes a 36-foot mobile Simulation Bus that teaches facility staff and outside community agency staff about disaster preparedness, while it also informs the community how Veterans' hospitals can deploy their dual use vehicles (DUV) and utilize the vehicles in national emergencies. This resource was recently featured at the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses Conference held in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Simulation faculty were requested to have the “sim bus” come to the conference to showcase what staff do at the Tampa facility, which is a leader in innovative rehabilitation research. Dr. Janet Sprehe, Program Director of Simulations/REdI, and Dr. Carol Wilson, simulation faculty, taught conference participants rehabilitation concepts and skills using interactive simulation training stations featuring seven common Veteran diagnoses that are treated in VA medical centers: Right- versus left-sided brain stroke, spinal cord injury with autonomic dysreflexia, traumatic brain injury status post craniotomy, severe motor vehicle injury, status post orthopedic surgery with central line (CLASBI) infection, post fall with indwelling catheter infection (CAUTI) and a diabetic with a right below the knee amputation. 

Seventy- three individuals participated on the simulation bus and expressed how eye opening the experience was for them. From this experience, participants could examine state-of-the-art approaches to improving rehabilitation, patient care and outcomes, apply strategic knowledge about current issues facing rehabilitation nurses and the health care industry, and incorporate evidence-based interventions into practice for the rehabilitation of patients with a variety of diagnoses. In addition to the rehabilitation scenarios, the participants also learned about how the VA’s Disaster Emergency Management bus operates in a real natural disaster, as well as its capabilities.