Hayes Green Beach one of three Michigan hospitals to pilot MSU training program

Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital’s medical and nursing staff will participate in a unique on-site learning exercise Friday, Sept. 28, when the MSU Learning & Assessment Center sets up a simulation lab that includes actors and interactive mannequins. The pilot training program is made possible through research from the University of Iowa and a grant from the Michigan Center for Rural Health.

HGB is one of three Michigan hospitals invited to participate in the simulation program, along with McKenzie Memorial Hospital in Sandusky, Mich., and Mackinac Straits Hospital in St. Ignace, Mich.

"Human patient simulators are currently utilized in a number of medical settings. As part of my doctoral education, I designed a simulation program that would target the unique needs of rural community hospitals," said Gayle Lourens, CRNA, MS, RN, doctoral candidate at University of Iowa and assistant director of the MSU Nurse Anesthesia Program. "I worked with the Michigan Center for Rural Health to identify three community hospitals with a progressive and forward-thinking administrative team. Hayes Green Beach was chosen based on these attributes."

The simulation lab creates evolving scenarios that nursing and medical staff would realistically experience. The training can be tailored to a particular risk situation based on common medical conditions a healthcare facility would typically treat. The exercises begin with an actor who shows up at a doctor’s office or the hospital experiencing particular set of symptoms. Once the “patient” is admitted, a mannequin takes the actor’s place. The technology allows the mannequin to talk to medical staff, describe how it is feeling, and present a wide range of symptoms and conditions the doctors and nurses must react to appropriately.

"Being able to bring this kind of training on-site is invaluable," said Maureen Hillary, RN, HGB Chief Nursing Officer. "There is a significant advantage in running through these kinds of training scenarios using your own rooms, equipment and protocols."

HGB staff has participated in similar training at the MSU Learning and Assessment Center focusing on technical skills and competency assessments.

"When Gayle approached me with her research interests, it seemed like a natural fit to facilitate the connection with HGB as we had a previous and very positive relationship already established," said Mary Kay Smith, MSN, RN, MSU Learning and Assessment Center Director. "Gayle’s research has raised the bar for HGB employees as well as enhanced the application of simulation for the LAC."

The training exercise at HGB will involve all levels of medical and nursing staff from multiple disciplines. Each exercise includes a debriefing to examine how staff performed. The SIM Lab is videotaped so MSU and HGB can use it as a future training resource.