Successful pre-hospital simulation day!

Thursday’s have turned into our structured simulation day at the helicopter base. Part of my learning objective at ARHT (in Auckland) is to improve my abilities in running and debriefing simulation scenarios. While the group has (and continues) to run impromptu simulation sessions we have moved to a structured aspect that will allow us to be creative and try new things. We have the luxury of our Rescue Helicopter Trust being the subject of a TV show so there’s an abundance of footage of previous jobs. Today we selected a scenario from a previous episode that was viewed by the sim team before starting (check it out all the episodes here). This set the scene and we immediately jumped right into the scenario. The team stormed out to the scene and within minutes were immersed within the scenario. Check out a few pics from the scenario below.

Scott and Ati working hard during a V. Fib arrest. Great to see Scott providing some solid CPR!

The debrief – doing my best to keep people interested! Do you think they were listening?

The duty crew for the day formed today’s team and it was comprised of three members who did an awesome job! We had great teamwork from all three; Ati (crewman), Ross (Advanced paramedic), Scott (HEMS physician). Two key themes emerged from the day:

1) Role assignment and leadership: sometimes pre-assignment of a leader in the pre-hospital setting can be disrupted depending on available personnel (or lack thereof). The team decided as long as it’s well verbalized that there’s going to be a transition in leadership that it shouldn’t be an issue

2) Ergonomics: Placement of equipment and personnel is super important for being efficient and maximizing speed. Following the scenario we examined the set up the team had established then looked at ways to improve it. Chris Denny (HEMS physician supervising the scenario) spoke of using the stretcher as “table” and the use of angles as a strategy to improve scene ergonomics.

This session was a great opportunity for me to practice my debriefing skills using some stuff from the Harvard Simulation group. The idea of advocacy-inquiry method moves away from the idea that we shouldn’t judge during debriefings. Instead, the debriefer can provide an opinion but at the same time they try to understand how/why the learner decided to make such a decision even it may have been incorrect or controversial. “The instructor can help the learner reframe internal assumptions and feelings and take action to achieve better results in the future” (Rudolph JW et al. Simul Healthcare 2006).

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