New COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment Donning and Doffing application now available in TMS - VHA SimLEARN
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New COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment Donning and Doffing application now available in TMS

By Jessica L Feinleib, MD, PhD, CHSE
Medical Director of Simulation
VA Connecticut Health Care System

ORLANDO, Fla. – A new course related to COVID-19 is now available in the VA Talent Management System (TMS). The course, called the COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) Donning and Doffing training application, can be accessed on your VA computer using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers. The application may also be accessed on IOS devises in Safari by copying and pasting the link:

This training can be assigned to any staff that use or will use PAPR hoods in the course of their clinical duties. This product is tailored for use as both a just-in-time training product and as a tool to maintain competency. While clinicians are experiencing intermittent use of this level of PPE, or experiencing localized surges, use of this new TMS product will support patient care. The application’s subject matter experts, Doctors Art French and Jessica Feinleib, owe much of this program’s success to the highly effective and agile Employee Education System eLearning Division’s Game-Based Learning team, led by Leslie Dubow. This project took six weeks from start to finish, which is remarkable in the world of video game production and was made possible by the efforts of the contractor, the upcycling of a prior asset, effective contracting and project management.

This training has options for a gown/apron combination or a gown alone, as well as a full head neck or just front of head PAPR hood. It is in alignment with several local VHA facility PAPR PPE protocols. For facilities that have PAPR hoods, they are being asked to review the application to ensure that it is in alignment with their local PPE procedure before assigning it to their staff. This is the standard recommendation to all supervisors in VHA considering the use of any educational product.   

One success story was that of Dr. Josh Quick, who self-assigned this training the day it went live, in preparation for his first in-house overnight airway call since returning to VA Connecticut from his tour on the U.S. Naval Ship Mercy. This training fit the bill as a true, just-in-time training as he was confident in his PPE, he felt the use of the application was low friction, and the facility did not have to consume PPE during training.    

It is important to note that during aerosol generating procedures the use of a respirator (e.g., N95 or PAPR) is being recommended by many professional societies, and that the Joint Commission issued a statement in support of this position on June 22. The Joint Commission uses this definition of aerosol generating procedures. “Procedures that might promote the generation of droplets or aerosols (nonexhaustive list) included non-invasive ventilation (CPAP and BiPAP), endotracheal intubation, airway suctioning, high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, bag-valve mask ventilation, chest physiotherapy, nebulizer therapies, aerosol humidification, bronchoscopy or other upper airway endoscopy, tracheotomy and open thoracotomy.”


Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation. (2020, June 3). Use of PPE by Anesthesia professionals during COVID-19 pandemic.

The Joint Commission. (2020, June 22). Position Statement (revised June 22, 2020): Preventing nosocomial COVID-19 infections as organizations resume regular care delivery.

Tran, K., Cimon, K., Severn, M., Pessoa-Silva, C.L., Conly, J. (2012). Aerosol generating procedures and risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections to healthcare workers: A systematic review. PLoS ONE 7(4): e35797. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035797.

To access the training, you can click here.

For more information on this course, please contact EES project manager  

If you have questions, please contact EES SimLEARN NSC Support

For more information about the SimLEARN program, please visit the SimLEARN website.

The VHA public internet site for COVID-19 training is