"Help me! Call 911!"
The frantic cries of a mother whose 6-year-old son "Tommy" fell from a two-story window started the first-ever pediatric emergency simulation between the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Nursing program students at College of DuPage. Click here for photos and a video from this event.
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The young patient was in fact a high-tech pediatric simulator or mannequin that has advanced functions such as moaning, coughing, vomiting, pupil dilatations and seizure activity. The patient's blood pressure, respirations, heart rate and temperature can also be changed and controlled by the instructors in charge of the simulation.
"This was a great exercise for our students," said Joseph Gilles, EMS lead instructor of the Pediatric Patient Assessment course whose students participated in the first part of this event. "The pediatric simulator is top-of-the-line equipment that most programs don't have. Couple that with the incredible resources offered in the (Homeland Security Education Center) and it becomes amazing at how realistically we can train our students."
During the recent exercise, EMT students stabilized the patient in the tactical village of the new Homeland Security Education Center, a 66,000 square-foot building that features a full-scale tactical village for police force-on-force training, a smoke room and full-size ambulance for firefighter/EMT courses, an outside high tower for rappelling exercises, as well as forensics and cybercrimes laboratories.
After calling in the emergency, EMT students rushed their patient to the College's new Hospital Simulation Lab in the Health and Sciences Center (HSC), where COD Nursing students took over to assess and treat the patient.
"This type of simulation creates an environment for students to interact with healthcare team members just like in the field," said Larinda Dixon, MSN, RN, and instructor of the Pediatric Medical-Surgical students who participated in the recreated emergency scenario. "Hands-on training like this enhances student competencies and builds clinical decision-making skills. We look forward to incorporating more collaborative events like this into all areas of first-responder training at the College."
The COD Hospital Simulation Lab consists of a nurse's station, four hospital rooms, two viewing rooms and one debriefing room. The lab is used for instructional purposes by approximately 400 students per semester enrolled in Associate Degree Nursing, Practical Nursing and Basic Nursing Assistant programs. Each of the four hospital rooms contains a computerized mannequin, with one room dedicated as a birthing suite. The viewing rooms sit between two hospital rooms and consist of one-way glass so lab staff and technicians can watch students respond to the simulations. Based upon the student-provided medical care, the lab staff can manipulate the mannequin and even provide voiceover reactions.
Simulations can range from the need for medication to cardiac arrest. All scenarios are followed by a debriefing, which gives students the opportunity to reflect on their performance and receive constructive feedback, Dixon said.
Fortunately, "Tommy," the patient in the recent EMT/Nursing student simulation, survived his injuries and was transported at the end of the session to MRI for further diagnosis.
For information about the EMT program at COD, click here. For information about the Nursing program at COD, click here.
Pictured: College of DuPage Nursing student Monashay Pertee provides treatment for "Tommy" during the College's first EMT/Nursing joint pediatric emergency simulation.