Sepsis Simulation Training for Nurses: Using Simulation to Identify and Treat Early Signs of Sepsis

Appeared in: Nurse Together

More than a hundred nurses from Alta Bates Summit Medical Center are using simulation training at Samuel Merritt University (SMU) to raise the level of education and experience in early identification of sepsis.

Each year, sepsis strikes an estimated 750,000 people in the United States. It is the leading cause of death for non-cardiac, critically ill patients in the U.S.. Sepsis is the one diagnosis specific initiative that the Institute for Healthcare Improvement recommends all hospitals tackle.

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and Samuel Merritt University (SMU) are working together to tackle this nationwide problem by providing additional training in early recognition of signs and symptoms of sepsis. The goal is aimed at reducing the number of reported sepsis-associated mortality rates.

For the past two weeks Alta Bates Summit nurses, with the aid of SMU faculty with simulation expertise, have been using the equipment and procedures at the Health Science Simulation Center located at Samuel Merritt University’s Oakland campus to make learning sepsis realistic. Through the re-enforcement training the nurses are also earning continued education units (CEU).

"We anticipate that the unique opportunity offered through simulation will re-enforce skills the nurses use every day in recognizing early stages of sepsis development. Simulation will improve overall team skills and critical thinking related to the care and treatment of sepsis," said Thomas Holton, RN, MS PACE - Clinical Transformation Director at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

The Health Science Simulation Center uses human-like mannequins, managed by highly sophisticated computer software to enable healthcare providers to learn, practice and repeat procedures as often as necessary in order to correct mistakes, fine-tune their skills and develop patient practice that have been proven to optimize clinical outcomes.

"While hands-on, experiential learning is indispensable, healthcare professionals are increasingly concerned about, and committed to, the safety of patients," explains Celeste Villanueva, Director, Health Sciences Simulation Center at Samuel Merritt University. "With simulation learning, healthcare providers have the opportunity to develop and refine their skills using simulation technology - without putting patients at risk." 


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