“Sim Huddles” A Team Stepps Approach For Emergency Preparedness

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Title: “Sim Huddles” A Team Stepps Approach For Emergency Preparedness

Karla Olson, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CBC, CLNC
Renee Maietta, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CBC , Women and Children's Services, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Sarasota, FL

Discipline: Childbearing (CB), Professional Issues (PI)

Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify the advantages and opportunities for staff development through the use of random in situ “Sim Huddles”.
  2. Describe methods for competency maintenance of emergency obstetric high risk, low frequency events through the use of “Sim Huddles”.
  3. Explore the strategies for increasing critical thinking skills, collaborative teamwork, and increased self-confidence through immediate debriefing after a “Sim Huddle”.
Submission Description:
Background: Obstetric nurses and team members need to have rapid responses and a coordinated team effort when emergencies arise. Maintenance of emergency preparedness skills including ACLS is critical for patient safety yet few obstetric nurses feel confident in these high risk low frequency skills.  

Case: “Sim Huddles” involves melding Team STEPPS principles and practices with simulation to increase nurse confidence and preparedness for emergency skills.  Team STEPPS principles are proven to enhance teamwork and improve patient safety.  Short random in situ simulations of obstetrical critical events involve huddling to reviewkey elements, completing a simulated mock code, and then completing a debriefing experience for the students. The debriefing evaluation process of the simulation is a practical and effective way to provide the perinatal team the opportunity to refresh their knowledge, perfect their skills, and increase their confidence in response to the obstetrical emergency patient.  Every “Sim Huddle” has uncovered at least one latent safety threat, be it an equipment or process issue, that is then immediately corrected further supporting safety and preparedness.  Following this process is consistent with current resources and the educational culture of hospital obstetrical units across the country regardless of size or resources.  Sim Huddle scenarios are designed as a collaborative multidisciplinary team response of obstetric nurses, obstetricians, midwives, anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, neonatologists, respiratory therapists, and scrub techs who are present for the educational experience.  Offering a challenging patient simulation, participants develop critical thinking skills, learn teamwork, and increase self-confidence.  

Conclusion: Through the implementation of this practice change of “Sim Huddles” a higher level of readiness is developed which contributes to optimal outcomes when emergencies arise.  Improved performance, knowledge, and confidence gained through simulation based training will facilitate the prompt initiation of the lifesaving skills of BLS and ACLS with the application of modifications for pregnancy, which are critical for the survival of the mother and the fetus during a maternal code.  With a foundational knowledge of the changes and challenges that occur in pregnancy, appropriate treatments can be instituted, and two lives may be saved.  

Keywords: Obstetric patient, simulation, ACLS, increased nursing confidence and preparedness, Team STEPPS

The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.