Healthcare News & Insights

Patients docs can practice on without getting your hospital sued

Unlike Dr. Gregory House on the TV drama “House,” if you want your hospital to stay in good standing with its community, your physicians can’t go around calling patients stupid, idiots or morons. But at one hospital, they can call some of their patients dummies. 

Appalled? Don’t be. They really are dummies.

At Naval Hospital Bremerton in the state of Washington, the doctors, nurses and corpsmen fine tune their skills by working on dummies in their simulation lab.

Now these aren’t your regular dummies that people practice CPR on, they’re some of the most advanced medical mannequins available. In fact, the hospitals three newest mannequins breath, bleed, talk and mimic other human functions, such as giving birth.

Polish skills

Simulators, such as these life-like mannequins, allow providers to develop and maintain their skills without any physical consequences to the patient or financial consequences to the hospital if they make mistakes. They’re able to practice:

  • inserting tracheas and stomach tubes
  • stitching up wounds
  • delivering babies
  • administering shots
  • drawing blood (or red water)
  • inserting catheters, and
  • listening to lungs and hearts.

Real-life emergencies

But the simulators are great at preparing teams to handle real-life emergencies, such as postpartum hemorrhaging and heart attacks.

For example,the reported that one mannequin, dubbed Sim Man, moaned “Go away. I’m so sick.” He seemed to be fine with normal breathing and vital signs. However, a half-hour later, two nurses rushed to the dummy’s side because he was having a heart attack.

Lt. Cmdr. Johannes Bailey and Lt. j.g. Shannon Posey alternated between chest compressions and giving breaths, while Corpsman 2nd Class Blake Hite readied a defibrillator and shocked Sim Man back to life.

Practicing emergencies allows everyone to get on the same and work in sync with each other.

Family affair

The hospital has an entire family of mannequins. In addition to Sim Man, Bremerton has Sim Junior, the hospital’s first kid mannequin, 3G another adult mannequin, and NewB, a baby mannequin. These three are the most advance mannequins available and are still in the process of being programmed.

Trainers decide what scenario they want to use, and then the simulation operator programs the computer so the mannequins react appropriately.

“We have the ability if (the trainees) do this, this will happen,” Dough Jones, the simulation operator told “If you fail to do this, this will happen.”

It’s a great way for residents to maintain credentials, and for hospital staff to get certified before they go to the field or fleet.




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