December 20, 2017
Story & Photo by Sharman Hnatiuk
FORT SASKATCHEWAN — Seeing his wife’s name inscribed on a plaque outside northern Alberta’s first community hospital simulation lab brings a smile to Dennis Maschmeyer’s face.
The Karol Maschmeyer Practice Readiness Centre, which opened this month, offers simulated scenarios that enable healthcare professionals to practise and master individual and team skills. Simulation prepares healthcare teams for high-risk situations, builds confidence in a safe learning environment, bridges the gap between textbook learning and real-life situations, and gives healthcare providers the freedom to learn from mistakes without causing patient harm.
The Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital Foundation launched a fundraising campaign for the simulation lab earlier this year to raise the $750,000 needed to buy equipment and create a designated suite in the hospital.
Maschmeyer donated $20,000 in his wife Karol’s memory; she was admitted to the hospital for congestive heart failure compounded by chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and passed away December, 2015.
“There’s always a need for continuous improvement. Suggestions made during and following Karol’s stay were well-received and acted upon,” he says. “My wife was always a strong proponent of continuous learning and education. The concept of the simulation training centre is an ideal opportunity to advance patient care by providing the staff at the site and surrounding area with this capacity. It will instil both confidence and job satisfaction to the care providers.”
Staff and physicians at the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital will receive more hands-on training to enhance their readiness to respond to real-time intensive situations thanks to the new simulation lab.
The new centre is equipped with a family of computerized mannequins that mimic a variety of scenarios, including imminent delivery, post-partum hemorrhage, immediate caesarean birth, stroke diagnosis, pediatric asthma attack and anaphylaxis.
Research shows simulation training is equivalent to clinical training and can enhance the quality of care and improve patient safety.
“Having a dedicated space to run an emergency drill will help our staff and physicians identify if there is a knowledge gap, improve communication among the team and identify if we have a process issue at the site, such as not having the right medication in the operating room,” says Kristen Moreau, a clinical nurse educator at the hospital.
“Our goal is to support our high-functioning teams and continue to deliver good patient outcomes. Having a safe place to practise together and train for real-time situations will help our staff and physicians achieve that.”