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    Communication is key for Army Reserve medical professionals

    Communication is key for Army Reserve medical professionals

    Photo By Lt. Col. Angela Wallace | Soldiers assigned to the 807th Medical Command’s 228th Combat Support Hospital based...... read more read more



    Story by Lt. Col. Angela Wallace 

    Army Reserve Medical Command

    ROCHESTER, MN -- The medical facility is bustling. Patients are being received and then whisked away from the emergency room to the intensive care unit or operating room or treated and prepared for movement to other facilities. The loud sounds of a helicopter overhead are an audible sign that the medical teams need to prepare for new patients, even as they manage the patients currently in front of them.

    Though this chaotic scenario sounds like something from a movie, this is a very realistic environment for military personnel serving overseas with Combat Support Hospitals and Forward Surgical Teams. This is an environment recreated at the Mayo Clinic Multi-disciplinary Simulation Center to provide Army Reserve medical units and healthcare providers the opportunity to work together in a realistic, theater-specific setting that replicates typical injuries and focuses on teaching and incorporating TeamSTEPPS into Army Reserve processes in an exercise environment.

    TeamSTEPPS is the Department of the Army’s patient safety framework adopted by the Army Medical Command to enhance healthcare team performance and improve patient safety. The training audience for this particular exercise is the Soldiers from the 807th Medical Command’s 228th Combat Support Hospital based out of San Antonio, Texas. The exercise held 2-4 Jun. provides a crawl, walk, run format for the Soldiers.

    Col. Elizabeth Anderson, Medical Readiness and Training Command’s exercise director for the simulation center’s TeamSTEPPS exercise, explains why this training is so important.

    “Regardless of the field or organization, communication is the bedrock of what we do. If we don’t communicate well between one another – between departments, between organizations, than the mission fails. TeamSTEPPS is a process of teaching people tools that they can use to maintain good communication. So it’s making sure that I hear and understand what you say to me, and that when we’re talking across sections, across organizations that we hear and understand each other,” said Anderson.

    The facility has 10,000 square feet of training space with four simulation suites, which provide robust audio and video capabilities allowing for an enhanced After Action Review capability. The equipment available in the simulation center closely mirrors military clinical environments, including anesthesia machines, mechanical ventilators, defibrillators, perfusion simulators and high-fidelity manikins.

    Staff Sgt. Brigham Elliott, an Observer Coach / Trainer and Licensed Practical Nurse assigned to the 7212th Medical Support Unit in Rochester, Minnesota, explains the OC/T role and how they help to ensure the training is as realistic as possible.

    “My favorite part of being an OC/T is making the experience interactive between the medical personnel and the patient. These are manikins, so we create noises and response to make it more realistic for Soldiers, to make them consider this as a real patient so that their stress level starts to go up, and then we can start to see the reactions we are looking to fine tune,’ said Elliott.

    The end-state is trained and ready Soldiers equipped with the knowledge and experience to utilize TeamSTEPPs during the delivery of care.

    “We are looking for the participating unit to apply the teamSTEPPS principles in a variety of combat casualty scenarios. One of the things we did at MRTC is we used some of the information in the joint trauma registry – patients that had actually been cared for and had been uploaded into the registry, and we used those to create scenarios that could be implemented here in the simulation center. We’ve got twenty of those scenarios with all the information that we need to treat the patients and move them through the hospital,” said Anderson.

    At the end of the exercise weekend, commanders receive a take home package that includes pre and post exercise survey findings and TeamSTEPPS performance observations, providing them an effective tool to assess team performance, as well as management and clinical skills.

    “The training has evolved over the course of the last three years to meet the understanding and the needs of the operational environment that our Soldiers are going to be going into. It doesn’t matter what environment you’re in, you still need to be able to communicate. As the threat has changed, as the mission has evolved over the last three to five years, we in the clinical operations section of MRTC have made a point of keeping in touch with that, understanding what it is, and adjusting the training that we do here to meet those needs so that it’s as realistic as we can make it for the units coming through,” Anderson said.



    Date Taken: 06.04.2017
    Date Posted: 06.10.2017 23:34
    Story ID: 237236
    Location: ROCHESTER, MN, US 

    Web Views: 213
    Downloads: 0