Background Simulation training for operating theatre team members, including anaesthetists, surgeons, operating department practitioners (ODPs), nurses and health care assistants, is usually provided away from the theatre environment. Currently, theatre staff are seldom given teaching on the management of emergency drills as a team, or in the theatre setting.
Method We piloted the use of in-situ simulation with the multi-disciplinary theatre team. We used a Laerdal ALS mannequin and SimPad system to simulate medical emergencies, such as cardiac arrest scenarios, in theatre and in the post anaesthetic care unit (PACU). We ran three pilot session which included a thorough debriefing and feedback concentrating on team working and human factors.
Results 18 theatre team members attended including medical, nursing and allied health professionals, with a diverse level of experience and training in the management of medical emergencies. They provided an opportunity for team members to develop both the technical and non-technical skills required to respond to medical emergencies. Additionally, latent risks, including staff being unfamiliar with defibrillation equipment, were identified and addressed during the debrief.
Evaluation forms were completed by all participants, there was unanimous agreement that they found the sessions relevant and useful, and that they had learnt about teamwork and had improved their confidence in dealing with emergency situations. Feedback was also used to improve subsequent sessions, for instance by adding a thorough pre-scenario familiarise participants with the mannequin, and using the SimPad system to simulate the patient’s observations.
Outcomes As a result of these pilot sessions we have had support from the management team to roll out a comprehensive program for all theatres teams to receive this training regularly, initially at SJUH and eventually across the Trust.
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