#first responders

September is National Preparedness Month

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The summer is gone with a blink of the eye and now it’s September, already - “Emergency Preparedness Month.” Being prepared is really a year-round activity and when I say “prepare,” I mean in advance, before the emergency arrives.

While different types of emergency situations may require different types of preparation, there is one step that should take precedence – information gathering.

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The first type of information is personal and would include the identification of yourself and every member of your immediate family including full name, age, birthdate, home address, phone number(s), email address(es), relationship and work address for starters. This list should also include family members who live away from you whether across town or across the country. And, when it comes to you and your family, a list of basic health information, including chronic medical conditions, mobility challenges, medications and allergies can be life-saving.

You can make a hard copy for storage in your personal record file or keep it on a thumb drive or other digital media including your smartphone.

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Visit federal, state and local emergency management, suicide and crisis websites for information on local resources and hotlines. Identify the location and non-emergency phone numbers for the closest police station, fire department, as well as the nearest shelter or Red Cross facility.

Having this information gathered, organized and readily available can make a big difference in managing most any type of emergency situation you might face.

Give yourself the peace of mind that comes from having taken this important step in preparation.

We’ll have other preparation tips and resources throughout the month, so please like and share and check back soon.

My "Realism in Clinical Scenarios" Soapbox…

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As recently as in the past few months, I again observed a mock emergency response scenario, and I kid you not - they taped/wrapped IV tubing to the manikin arm saying, “IV started”.

I’m a veteran emergency nurse and educator, an inventor of wearable vascular access products, and I am “a tough stick” when it comes to IVs. That said, here we go…

That kind of limitation, the lack of realism, extends the gap between what we prepare them to do and what they will actually experience regardless of their status as soon-to-be new providers or salty old veterans.

That simple omission feels awfully close to a “pretend you started the IV” situation and we DO NOT PRETEND in clinical simulation.

“In the simulation, it is important to make a simulation experience as real as possible.  This is accomplished primarily by having the students perform the task and not just pretend to do it,” shared S. Howard, Ph.D., RN, CHSE, in “Increasing Fidelity and Realism in Simulation”, 2018, LWW.com.

C. Kroboth, NRP, CCEMT-P, LT, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue adds, “Don’t cut corners here; it’s nearly impossible for students to “imagine” or “pretend” that certain stimuli are present in the simulation when they’re not. Take advantage of all the resources at your disposal using simulated smells, moulage, and even recorded sounds, so that these sensory elements are familiar when they encounter them in the field.”

Of course, there’s always an exception, like when the provider is in a hospital/clinic setting scenario and the patients would have established IVs … but not in an external emergency or disaster situation. The percentage of the population walking around with an established IV is, I’m sure, quite small.

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To be fair - I must also include a sincere thank you to those of you who consistently try to maintain the highest level of realism in scenarios - you know who you are.

There are a variety of wearable products to increase the clinical realism of SPs (our ReaLifeSim products would be some of them), plus manikins that can be programmed to do nearly everything.

Let’s keep it real people - so we don’t do a disservice to those we’re teaching.

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.

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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Making a Difference with the December Give-Away

Giving isn’t just about a donation - it’s about making a difference.

Helping others and making a difference in the world is what makes the world a better place.

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In healthcare, ordinary people are called to do extraordinary things every day - first responders, EMS, US&R, nurses, doctors, corpsmen, medics….helping others.

Books, instruction in classrooms, and activities during lab time provide essential knowledge and good practice. But, practicing in a realistic environment is different. That’s why we created the human-centered wearable design of ReaLifeSim product lines - to help emphasize the influence human factors have on people performing skills under pressure, by replicating real-life.

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During the “season of giving”, we decided the best way to help those that are always helping others was by giving away ReaLifeSim “Starter Sets”.

Winners of the ReaLifeSim December 2018 Giveaway Promotion

We’re happy to share these stories of the winners! Individual responses were edited for space.

WEEK 1

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Congratulations went to Kristi Cox Burns, MEd, BSN, an alumnus of the East Texas Baptist University School of Nursing, and Assistant Professor and Simulation Coordinator at her alma mater. Located in Marshall, TX, #ETBU offers a pre-licensure BSN degree, as well as an RN-BSN degree. 

“This would be great for our students to get to see what it’s really like to start an IV on a patient.” 

Given her current doctoral research interests in interprofessional collaboration in healthcare and nursing and the use of simulation in nursing education, it’s no surprise why Professor Burns is enthusiastic about using the wearable ReaLifeSim hybrid simulation IV trainer with her students.

WEEK 2

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Congratulations went to Thomas Fitts, AAS, BSN, Associate Professor, Emergency Medical Services and EMS Program Coordinator, at East Central College in Union, Missouri. East Central College, a three-campus institution, offers a program of study leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree and Certificate of Achievement in Paramedic Technology.

“This would be a great opportunity for our Paramedic students! Being able to start IV's in "real life" situations such as in a car or with a moving patient, will be a huge advantage.”

At #eastcentralcollege, Paramedic students complete classroom and laboratory activities with clinical experiences in an acute care setting. The portability and adaptability and versatility of the wearable ReaLifeSim hybrid simulation IV trainer are features and benefits of value to Professor Fitts.

WEEK 3

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Congratulations went to Kimberly Cooper, MSN, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor at Carr College of Nursing, Harding University, a private, Christian university in Searcy, Arkansas. Carr offers a variety of pathways resulting in baccalaureate and graduate level nursing degree programs boasting a 100% pass rate for seven consecutive semesters

“Our Sim Lab will be so much more "real" with ReaLifeSim. I had been emailing with a representative of ReaLifeSim for a few months and our resources committee wanted to see a demo, before we asked for the money. So now, I have a set!”

#Harding students pursue various programs of study at one of five in-state and seven international campuses and are well prepared to enter the work world when they graduate. Prof. Cooper is eager to use the ReaLifeSim IV trainer in their skills/sim lab.

WEEK 4

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Congratulations went to Ed Rovera, MSEd, CHSE, CHSOS, Dir. Operations for the Nursing Simulation Complex and Simulation Educator at San Francisco State University School of Nursing. #SFSU has a well-defined, stepped skills training program with basic skills taught the first semester, followed by mental and reproductive health the second and adult medical and pediatrics in the third.

“With this starter set, I will be able to demonstrate how students benefit from more practice to then be competent when they are doing the skills in a clinical setting. The ReaLifeSim Starter Set will get used, I assure you!”

Rovera plans to set up “Refresher Stations” in the Experiential Learning Suite (ELS) and Standardized Patient Area (SPA) prior to scheduled simulation sessions to allow students to come in early and practice with the wearable ReaLifeSim hybrid IV simulation IV trainer for 10 to 15 minutes before their simulation session begins.  

Special Mention

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Congratulations also went to Kim Richlak Kelly-Maden, RN, BSN, MSN, Director of The Vocational Nursing Institute, Inc. in Houston, TX. Kim Kelly-Maden is a current ReaLifeSim customer and enthusiastic advocate for our “train the way you treat” approach to healthcare simulation education – also winning a Starter Set.

“This is such a great way to learn compared to when I went to school 32 years ago. Adding this realistic venipuncture practice is a great benefit for my students.”

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As clinicians, we’re committed to promote a revitalized focus on the human element of patient-centric care and clinical training, including the influence of human factors. As educators, we’re committed to provide competency based training & competency based assessment. 

ReaLifeSim products provide realistic, risk-free, safe practice to improve clinical competency and communication skills and develop confidence, deeper empathy, and increased situational awareness – improving patient safety, outcomes, and satisfaction. ReaLifeSim products are realistic, durable, portable, and have an easy 5 to 10-minute setup and cleanup. 

Plus, there’s an option to work with expert guidance from a professional that may be in a different physical/geographic location, similar to telemedicine, with four language localisations (English, French, German, Spanish). RLSimApp software runs on mobile devices as an app for easy updates. Our patented  embedded sensors track skill performance over time with BLE technology and provide multiple sources of objective data. Working with RLSimApp, skills and communication performance are recorded, saved, and stored with remote access for review and feedback. 

Commercially available around the globe, our products are enhancing training capabilities at minimal cost.

Let us help you train ordinary people called to do extraordinary things.

For more information: www.bgei-educational.com

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