SimLEARN Staff Conducts TNCC Training in Puerto Rico
By Jonathan Borgwing, MSEd
Associated Director for Training and
Scott Wiltz, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Associate Medical Director for Training
VHA SimLEARN National Simulation Center
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – During the week of Jan. 6, a team of staff members from the VHA SimLEARN National Simulation Center (NSC) in Orlando, Florida traveled to the VA Caribbean Health Care System (HCS) facility in San Juan to train instructors in Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) curriculum.
The team consisted of two registered nurses ENA TNCC faculty members, Susie Martenson, MS, RN-BC, CEN, CFRN, a State ENA TNCC faculty member and course director; and Jennifer McGuigan, MSN, MA, CEN, ENA TNCC, course director. In addition, two simulation technicians James Bloodgood, paramedic and Ivan Rosado; as well as Theodore Napolitano, MS, project manager, helped train the staff in San Juan. This training allows San Juan staff to increase the numbers of attendees at their monthly TNCC virtual classes with SimLEARN serving as the Course Director by utilizing SimLEARN Skype access, with hands-on practice and testing completed by the on-site faculty.
San Juan staff have been holding virtual classes with SimLEARN each month since June 2018 with only one on-site Instructor, Edwin Negron-Cortes, MSN, RN, who has done an amazing job with the support of the education team, Dr. Maricarmen Cruz Jimenez, Cosme Torres Sabater and Anthony Pereira, in Emergency Management .
During their time in Puerto Rico, multiple earthquakes occurred, including one up to a 6.4 magnitude. Despite the unsettling effects of the earthquakes, the team completed the training. The entire team ensured that, even throughout the events during this state of emergency, the highest level of training was provided to the learners. In fact, almost all scheduled learners attended the course even though many of them were without water and/or electricity. Three additional Instructors were trained, monitored and oriented, and a total of 25 additional RNs were trained during this time. This 300% increase in TNCC instructor numbers at VA Caribbean HCS will allow them to drastically increase the assessment training needs of their nursing staff at their facility.
During this unexpected turn of events, our SimLEARN family shined as a model of support for our fellow VA employees and the Veterans we all care for. Their professionalism and commitment to the mission embodied ICARE principles and SimLEARN values to further VA’s mission. The Veterans of Puerto Rico and across the nation can benefit because of this collaboration and teamwork of SimLEARN and the VA Caribbean HCS.