Simulation labs at Utah Valley Hospital help prepare health professionals

Scenario: woman gives birth to 27 week old baby

PROVO, Utah, (News4Utah)-- The Intermountain Utah Valley Clinic opened less than a month ago and so did two of its operating simulation labs.

The program is teaching physicians and nurses to be even better. It is as close to real life as you can get. This type of training helps healthcare professionals face the real situation.

The scenario today: a pregnant woman having a C-section at 27 weeks. The baby born severely premature and needs medical treatment. Simulation Manager Debbie Bracken controls the baby who is in distress.  

"The way we teach is better than standing up and lecturing. It involves all of the senses," said Debbie Bracken, Simulation Manager Utah Valley Hospital

Doctors and nurses work with dummies and fake blood but simulations can be vital in learning anything that can happen in the operating room, from major emergencies to minor details.

Shannon Wheeler had never put EKG pads on a preemie before.

"I learned that instead of putting the pads on the chest like an adult, you wrap them around the arm because the baby comes out pretty gooey."
They end with a quick debrief to get them even more prepared the next time they step foot in the OR.

"I can't tell you how many times we've run a scenario and have them come back the next week and say I had the exact same thing happen to me," said Bracken. 

The hospital has chosen emergencies that have actually happened at Intermountain Healthcare. The simulation labs are used almost daily.

Intermountain Healthcare's simulation program has been nationally accredited.

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