Laurie Rosa, MSN, RN
Simulation Champion for the San Francisco Peninsula Campus
I started teaching at Samuel Merritt University’s San Francisco Peninsula Campus located in San Mateo, California in 2009. I had worked at our main campus in Oakland, and had participated in simulation at our Health Sciences Simulation Center (HSSC). Once I started teaching maternity nursing in San Mateo, I wanted the students at our satellite campus to have the same opportunity to participate in simulation as students on the Oakland campus.
Through the generosity of the HSSC’s Operations Manager, Jeanette Wong, I was given a small pelvic simulator for delivering babies. With this equipment, I decided I could implement simulation on my campus in our skills lab, even though we didn’t have any simulation suites.
While planning for the simulation day, I decided it was important for the students to learn how to deliver a baby. As a labor and delivery nurse, I had delivered a few babies, and had seen enough deliveries to know that it could happen very fast! My students’ experience in labor and delivery was mostly observational, and I felt simulation was a great place for them to do direct patient care.
I will never forget the day I first had students learn how to deliver a baby in November, 2010. I had set up the pelvis on the bed, and placed one of the students in the bed as the mother, who straddled the pelvis. We practiced pushing the babies through a couple of times for practice, and I decided the scenario would progress quickly.
As part of the report to the 2 student participants, I told them their patient in labor was asking for pain medication. When the students walked in the room, the baby’s head was crowning and the mother was screaming, “the baby’s coming!!” The students immediately rushed to the mother and delivered her babies. It was so quick they didn’t even have time to put on their gloves. Once they delivered the baby and the placenta, I ended the scenario. I remembered the students were angry with me! One student said, “You never told me we were going to deliver a baby!” We did the scenario a second time, and the students felt better after having more practice. All in all, it was a successful day.
Two weeks later, I was woken up by an early phone call. The student on the other end of the phone said, “Thanks for the simulation!” I had the student repeat what she said. She said again, “Thank you for the simulation! We just delivered a baby in front of the hospital!” I think I had her repeat this information again since I was in shock, but finally the information clicked in my brain. “You’ve got to be kidding!” I could not believe the students had delivered a baby after our simulation two weeks earlier.
The students were waiting for their clinical day to begin and heard a commotion outside. When they went outside, they found a mother ready to deliver her baby. The students sprang into action. One student caught the baby, while another student reminded her to place the baby on the skin of the mother’s abdomen. Because the baby wasn’t breathing yet, another student remembered to stimulate the baby to breathe, and one more student sought out help from labor and delivery. By the time help arrived, the mother and the baby were doing well. This story was published in Sigma Theta Tau’s Reflections on Nursing Leadership Magazine in March 2011. http://www.reflectionsonnursingleadership.org/Pages/Vol37_1_Valente.aspx
I was so pleased that my students were able to assist this family in a time of crisis. Not only did they step in to help someone in need, they worked as a team and kept the mother and baby safe. I am so proud of my students and the work that they did that day.
In case you’re wondering, I still have the delivery scenario for my nursing students in maternity. I have made one significant change to my simulation: now I tell them they are going to deliver a baby so they can come prepared. I just don’t tell them how fast it will happen…