Suspending Disbelief

When people talk about someone or something being “real” or “authentic” it is usually done in a positive or complimentary tone.

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It should come as no surprise that in a wide variety of industries such as the airlines, search and rescue, firefighting, and of course, healthcare – a successful result is often the difference between life and death. Each of them, and many others, require realistic practice experiences to achieve that successful result.

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An increasing number of programs, products and scenarios are being developed to add sights, sounds, smells or other distractions to help suspend disbelief during simulated scenarios.

These essential elements encourage a stronger sense of presence when performing under pressure in “what you see is what you get” and “it doesn’t get more real than this” opportunities to practice fighting fires, landing planes, and saving lives.

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The more realistic and authentic we can make the simulation, the more successful results we can achieve.

We all benefit from individuals and teams practicing to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons to achieve a successful result.

Emotional Resilience

Traumatic stress. Compassion stress. Physical stress. Social stress.

Regardless of their place on the responder spectrum of care, everyone from hospice nurse to combat medic can become victims, affected by the incidents to which they respond, day in and day out.

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It’s been said that people in other careers dream about retirement while First Responders just dream of surviving. The environmental stressors and trauma routinely confronted by medical professionals and emergency responders affect their emotions, decisions and actions and we are doing better to prepare the next generations of providers.

From “The Importance of Emotional Resilience for Staff and Students in the ‘Helping’ Professions: Developing an Emotional Curriculum”, L. Grant, Prof of Social Work and G. Kinman, Prof of Occupational Health Psychology, Univ of Bedfordshire, “Educators need to prepare students for the realities of caring work and encourage them to be assertive in seeking out the support they require to protect their own wellbeing, to advocate for working conditions which optimize the wellbeing of their patients and clients.”

The summer conferences are providing a variety of clinical challenges from simulated complicated childbirths to simulated mass casualty scenes taken from the headlines.

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Realism in clinical simulation practice is helping them to identify what they feel and why they are feeling it - in a safe environment, supported by facilitators, instructors, and peers.  

We must continue to provide effective learning experiences that are immersive - simulating a “real-life” situation that can engage the learners’ senses, emotions, thinking, and behavior.

National EMS Week

This is Emergency Medical Services Week.

Why should you care?

Well, given the more than 240 million calls received by 9-1-1 operators each year, in the U.S. alone, there’s a good chance you may be making one of those calls or be the subject of one of those calls in the near future.

So?

So, wouldn’t it be good to know when you call there will be a trained professional always available to answer your call, or the call about your injury or health challenge? And wouldn’t it be reassuring to know highly trained Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are being directed to your location as quickly as possible with the most current equipment, medications, training and communications to provide you the best medical care possible and transport you to an appropriate health care facility quickly and safely?

“Yes,” you said?

Excellent. This week-long recognition event is a reminder, to all of us, of the importance of this vital service we routinely take for granted. Like water and power, we don’t give much thought to them until we turn a faucet or flip a switch and nothing happens! Then we want answers and we want them now.

This reminder is also an invitation – an invitation to attend an “open house;” to learn more how the emergency response system in your community works; contribute to fund-raising activities; participate in public discussions about policies, requirements, staffing, equipping and funding.

Perhaps most importantly, it is a reminder to say “Thank you,” to the thousands of professionals who give of their time and expertise to help their neighbors in need, often as volunteers.

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We, at ReaLifeSim, are proud to partner with the EMS community by providing tools to help deliver the most realistic clinical training experiences possible, so they in turn can deliver the best care with competence and confidence.


Nurse Appreciation Week 2019

ReaLifeSim was created by Nurses, FOR NURSES! We are so thankful for those on our team. Elizabeth Roth Benson and Linda Goodman are innovators, educators, teachers and Nurses that are paving the way in this industry. 

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Elizabeth Benson, MEd, RN, FCN, FACHT – Co-founder and CEO, Elizabeth leads the team that created globally utilized ReaLifeSim medical and VetReaLifeSim veterinary wearable hybrid IV and blood draw task trainers. Under her leadership, the ReaLifeSim has garnered international recognition as a Top 10 Healthcare Simulation Solution provider for 2018, a Top 12 company leading in the area of patient safety advocacy 2019, and the provider experts choose for simulated IV scenarios in eight international EMS competitions. Elizabeth mentors women entrepreneurs and is an active #STEM/#STEAM advocate.

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Linda Goodman RN, MS, CHSE – Co-founder, Linda brings her expertise as a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator to every level of development, scenario creation and competency measures. Linda’s current work as a college-based simulation coordinator and small business owner continue to provide critical insights she applies to every product presentation, functional demonstration and clinical education opportunity.

ReaLifeSim Uncovers New Market in Post Disaster Rubble

ReaLifeSim’s innovative hybrid IV/blood draw trainer was used recently by Disaster Medical Solutions, LLC, (DMS) who presented a course to firefighters, paramedics and other clinical personnel from around Florida, nine other states, as well as Japan, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

The Medical Team Specialist course, certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is part of a series of training opportunities offered in support of the National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. The course was conducted on the campus of the Florida State Fire College (FSFC) in Ocala.

A variety of buildings, collapsed structures, vehicles and assorted rubble occupy a good portion of the Florida State Fire College’s 37-acre fire-rescue-technical training facility in Ocala, FL.

A variety of buildings, collapsed structures, vehicles and assorted rubble occupy a good portion of the Florida State Fire College’s 37-acre fire-rescue-technical training facility in Ocala, FL.

The four-day course focuses on the challenges of delivering immediate medical care in an urban search and rescue environment. Whether caused by natural events such as fires, floods and hurricanes or man-made disasters such as explosions, vehicle crashes or terrorist incidents, these sites often remain unstable and dangerous, for victims and first responders alike, for some time after the causative event.

“This program exposes the student to the injury types consistent with structural collapse incidents,” explained Joe Hernandez, CEO and course coordinator of Disaster Medical Solutions.

“A heavy focus is placed on providing care in a confined space,” Hernandez added.

We, at ReaLifeSim, are excited to have our IV trainers used to help create the most realistic training environment possible for such an important function.

The wearable simulation device, designed to enhance the training of nurses and other clinical specialists, was used to add another level of realism to the scenarios by requiring students to successfully start an IV on a live person often in dark and confined spaces.

Reaching, assessing and treating injured victims in confined spaces adds significantly to the realism and effectiveness of the training.

Reaching, assessing and treating injured victims in confined spaces adds significantly to the realism and effectiveness of the training.

Tyler Steele, 32, a veteran paramedic from the Rogers, Arkansas Fire Department, confirmed the challenges of working in uncomfortable situations and confined spaces. To cope requires you to “focus on your breathing and fall back on your training and teachings,” Steele said.

Rescue workers assess a “victim’s” condition and extraction options from a simulated building collapse.

Rescue workers assess a “victim’s” condition and extraction options from a simulated building collapse.

Instructor Matt Haywood, a 50-year old paramedic from Palm Beach County, FL, who served as a simulated patient, complimented the ReaLifeSim IV trainer, citing its flexibility and function, as adding significant realism when compared with manikins.

The ReaLifeSim wearable IV trainers were used to add another level of realism to the scenarios by requiring students to successfully start an IV on a live person often in dark and confined spaces.

The ReaLifeSim wearable IV trainers were used to add another level of realism to the scenarios by requiring students to successfully start an IV on a live person often in dark and confined spaces.

DMS lead instructor, Vincent Johnson, 48, a rescue paramedic from the New York City Fire Department, confirmed the importance of the multi-sensory overload within the various scenarios to create the very real distractions students will find in real-life rescue situations.

The presence of loud noises, heat, wind, rain, tight spaces and the absence of light all contribute to the difficulty of maintaining focus on the critical tasks at hand. The key to success, according to Johnson, is to “work slowly and methodically,” through each task.

When evaluating a team’s performance, Johnson looks for “clear communications and demonstrating respect for other members of the team.”

It is gratifying to be providing an affordable product that improves clinical training creating competent, confident paramedics and leading to better patient outcomes.

Clear communication between rescue workers, who are often members of different organizations or even from different countries, is critical to delivering safe and effective care, treatment and evacuation.

Clear communication between rescue workers, who are often members of different organizations or even from different countries, is critical to delivering safe and effective care, treatment and evacuation.

Bringing Wearable Sim Products for Italian Emergency Medical, Healthcare, and Animal Health Communities

Business Update    

ReaLifeSim Teams with SoFraPa Healthcare

Innovative Simulation Solutions for Italian Emergency Medical, Healthcare, and Animal Health Communities

 

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ReaLifeSim and SoFraPa Healthcare announced they’re working together to increase opportunities for students and practitioners in Italy’s emergency medical, healthcare, and animal health communities to experience more realistic and immersive education and training.

“We are pleased to welcome SoFraPa Healthcare to our network of collaborators who share the same view regarding the growing importance of simulation and immersive training scenarios to raise the level of learner competence and confidence, improving patient care and safety,” explained Elizabeth Benson, co-founder and CEO of ReaLifeSim, LLC.

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SoFraPa Healthcare, based in Florence, leads Italy in the distribution of basic and advanced educational manikins and medical simulators for training in the field of medical emergency and safety. ReaLifeSim will join other top brands distributed by SoFraPa such as Ruth Lee, BT Inc, ActFast, iSimulate and other leaders in the field of medical simulation.

I believe it can change the approach to medical simulation in Italy. 

When explaining SoFraPa’s interest in bringing ReaLifeSim to the Italian healthcare community, company owner, Paolo Innocenti, said it was because, “…(ReaLifeSim) can be used on manikins and real people, it is effective at allowing students to experience the anxiety and stress they will encounter in a real-life scenario, and its accessibility will help improve the quality of treatment and service that will be offered to patients by future Italian doctors and nurses.” “I believe it can change the approach to medical simulation in Italy,” Innocenti added. 

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ReaLifeSim is a leading wearable IV trainer, with improved realism and portability, objective assessment of skills performance with the App, and inclusion of human factors in IV training. Experts choose ReaLifeSim for their challenging scenarios!

Globally utilized ReaLifeSim & VetReaLifeSim hybrid wearable products provide safe, risk-free, immersive learning by creating a realistic platform to work under the pressure of practicing on real people/real animals or manikins.

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ReaLifeSim, LLC, a disruptively innovative company, has been earning industry recognition as a Top 10 Healthcare Simulation Solution Provider for 2018 by Healthcare Tech Outlook Magazine and a Top 12 Company in Patient Safety Advocacy by Medical Training Magazine.

ReaLifeSim, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of B&G Educational Innovations, LLC, (BGEI).

For more information:

www.sofrapa.it

www.realifesim.net

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Patient Safety - My Role As A Standardized Patient

This is patient safety awareness week.  #PSAW19

You might think patient safety is something just for those who work in a hospital or doctor’s office to be aware of or thinking about.  But, in fact, it applies to all of us.

The fact is, patient safety is for everyone from the hospital administrator, top surgeon, chief nursing officer, every operating room tech and every member of the custodial staff.  And, it also includes every patient. Patients want to get the right treatment and care and should do whatever they can to ensure that happens.

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My role as a “standardized patient”, someone who acts the part of a patient in clinical simulation exercises, was an eye-opening experience for me regarding patient safety.

In my role, I noticed the students did not always check for identification or confirm who I was by scanning the bar code on my ID bracelet to see if they had the correct patient. They sometimes didn’t notice that I had removed my ID band from my wrist. They were trying to do everything right, but those steps weren’t always their top priorities. Please don’t misunderstand, most things were done correctly! But, it only takes one error to potentially cause harm or take a life.

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This simple step to ensure the correct patient is being attended to, can prevent any number of errors concerning medication, treatment, injections, even surgeries. 

My role as a standardized patient, actually helped me be a better patient and empowered me to take a more active role in my healthcare and in my family’s care as well.

Remember, you are the most important member of your clinical care team.

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Ask questions. Get involved. Be active. It’s your health and your life.

About the author: James Benson is a professor of communications and Chief Communications Officer of B & G Educational Innovations, LLC, and subsidiary ReaLifeSim, LLC.

To learn more about ReaLifeSim hybrid clinical simulation solutions: www.realifesim.net

Combining Efforts to Extend Reach of Realistic Simulation in Healthcare Education

ReaLifeSim Teams with ECHO Healthcare

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ReaLifeSim and ECHO Healthcare announced they’re working together to extend the reach of ReaLifeSim products and increase awareness and enhance patient safety through more realistic and immersive education and training.

“We are pleased to welcome ECHO Healthcare to our network of collaborators as we share the same perspective on the growing importance of simulation and immersive training scenarios to raise the level of learner competence and confidence, improving patient care and safety,” explained Elizabeth Benson, co-founder and CEO of ReaLifeSim, LLC.

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ECHO Healthcare is a progressive healthcare simulation and technology company with over 20 years’ experience focused on improving educational experiences through innovation. “Coming from health care backgrounds, I recognized instantly that Elizabeth and I shared a common vision for improved patient outcomes through innovation,” said Kevin King, ECHO’s CEO. “We are proud to represent select global brands – now including ReaLifeSim - that are aligned with our mission to improve patient care through education,” King added.

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ReaLifeSim, LLC, a disruptively innovative company, has been earning industry recognition as a Top 10 Healthcare Simulation Solution Provider for 2018 by Healthcare Tech Outlook Magazine and a Top 12 Company in Patient Safety Advocacy by Medical Training Magazine. Globally utilized ReaLifeSim hybrid wearable products provide safe, risk-free, immersive learning by creating a realistic platform to work under the pressure of practicing on real people or manikins.  

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The two companies already share a link to a third enterprise, Lifecast Body Simulation, a UK based firm creating realistic body manikins from castings of real people for use in healthcare simulation education. “We have been using the ReaLifeSim tools with our Lifecast bodies throughout the world to enhance the simulation abilities of the Lifecast manikins,” explained David Halliwell, Director of Lifecast. “We are pleased to see ECHO Healthcare and ReaLifeSim combining to support the growth of realism in clinical simulation,” he added. ECHO Healthcare distributes Lifecast products throughout the United States and Canada.

ReaLifeSim, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of B&G Educational Innovations, LLC, (BGEI).

For more information:

www.echo.healthcare

www.realifesim.net