March 13, 2009
MRMC RECEIVES MIDDLE TENNESSEE'S FIRST NEONATAL SIMULATOR
COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) is the first medical facility in Middle Tennessee to receive SimNewB, a neonatal simulator that looks, feels and responds like a premature baby, according to Pam Hibbs, administrative director of women’s and children’s services. The simulator features newborn traits and lifelike clinical feedback that will help health care professionals learn to resuscitate their most vulnerable patients. Clinical educators will begin utilizing it to train staff at MRMC on March 17.
“This new technology brings a great advantage to Maury Regional, offering our staff high quality simulation training that increases skill development while practiced in a controlled environment. Staff will be confident and more equipped than ever on how to manage a life-threatening situation,” said Hibbs. “There is also a lot of flexibility with this patient simulator, which will allow the instructors to be creative and make their simulation trainings as simple or as complex as they choose.”
According to Hibbs, Maury Regional Medical Center was able to purchase the simulator thanks in large part to monies donated by First Farmers and Merchants Bank, Knights of Columbus and The Maury Regional Healthcare Foundation.
Officially launched in the United States at the International Society on Simulation for Healthcare conference in January 2008, the simulator accurately represents an average full term newborn female. Measuring 21 inches and weighing 7 lbs., the simulator can present as a limp newborn with no vital signs and blue lips indicating a lack of oxygen, or as a healthy, crying, vigorous newborn. The realistic anatomy includes an umbilical cord with a life-like pulse that can be assessed, cut or even catheterized for IV access. SimNewB's airway is realistic and can be used to teach all aspects of newborn airway management, including positive pressure ventilation, intubation and insertion of a laryngeal mask airway. The chest rise indicating breathing can be changed from absent to normal, with a respiratory rate up to 100 breaths per minute. The user interface allows the instructor to control responses with the push of a button on a remote handheld controller. Support materials map directly to Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) course materials, enabling the instructor to easily follow the NRP curriculum.
“All our nursery staff is trained by NRP guidelines. As of 2012, NRP will require simulation in its curriculum. By acquiring the SimNewB, Maury Regional is years ahead of the competition and is better prepared to offer mothers and babies the very best start in life,” said Michelle McPherson, nurse and NRP instructor.
The simulator will be available for training to MRMC staff in the neonatal intensive care unit, nursery, obstetrics, labor and delivery, and emergency medical services. Patients can also utilize the simulator to help them learn how to hold and care for their premature baby while still in the medical center.
Maury Regional Medical Center’s NICU, in a partnership with Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, began serving patients October 16, 2006. The eight-bed neonatal intensive care service is staffed with physicians, neonatal nurse practitioners and registered nurses specially trained to provide a higher level of newborn care.