Medical Staff Training Benefits
from Gala Support
Nurses Chris Bradford, left, and Autumn Perrault at the Grainger Center for Simulation and Innovation
NorthShore Evanston Hospital nurse Chris Bradford, a staff nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and Autumn Perrault, a labor and delivery nurse, have never met, but both have experienced the benefits of simulation training at the Grainger Center for Simulation and Innovation (GCSI).
GCSI enables physicians, nurses, medical students, residents, technicians and first responders from the surrounding communities—more than 6,000 total learners in the last year alone—to practice real-life medical scenarios with mannequin simulators that are paired with virtual reality software within a 13,000-square-foot facility at NorthShore Evanston Hospital.
The exercises are videotaped and the lifelike mannequin is programmed, depending on the medical specialty, with symptoms that mirror an actual patient. The scenario is then critiqued, and staff can see where they can improve or do things differently.
Bradford, RN, BSN, who has been a nurse at NorthShore for 33 years, said the simulation coursework and exercises serve to sharpen her skill set. “It’s lessened my time to troubleshoot in the ICU, and it makes for a much safer practice environment,” she said.
Perrault, BSN, agrees. “It’s really the ideal learning environment. It feels realistic because the mannequins (operated by remote control from the instructor sitting behind a two-way mirror) respond quickly to the care we provide. The scenarios we exercise not only build our confidence, knowledge and skills during high-pressure, critical situations as nurses, but, most importantly, protect our real-life patients. The Center allows us to train in a safe and controlled environment."
”Now, thanks to pledged support from The Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem, GCSI will be the beneficiary of funds raised for the next two years through the annual Hospitals' Gala. This year’s Gala, with the theme Simply Chicago, will be held June 14 at the Sheraton Chicago. Funding will provide charitable support for even more physicians and nurses to further develop simulation classes for their departments, with the goal of offering new classes that address learning gaps and provide teamwork development, teach skills for interacting with patients, and help perfect new procedural techniques. The funds also will go toward purchasing simulators and supplies as new scenarios and curriculums are introduced.
Guests toasting the 2013 Hospitals’ Gala
Ernest Wang, MD, GCSI Medical Director and the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund Chair of Simulation and Innovation, said the funds will significantly enhance the Center so that extra features can be added to the coursework. “This support will make such a difference and allow us to bring the medical team together. The exercise becomes a storytelling experience, and everyone talks to each other and learns in those situations. We are very grateful and thankful for The Auxiliary’s support and all those who will attend the Hospitals’ Gala.”
GCSI Surgical Director Michael Ujiki, MD, said The Auxiliary’s support will allow him to hire an operating room nurse to “help us plan the surgical courses. The Grainger Center improves the quality of care for all patients who come to NorthShore for surgery. We just wouldn’t be able to provide this level of skilled training without the funding.”
If you would like to support GCSI and/or attend this year’s June Gala, please click here for more information.