Mentors

Mentors

As I reflect well over the past decade as a registered nurse, simulationist, educator, and administrator, I have realized that my own development would not be possible without the guidance of mentors. I am thankful for those who have taught, inspired me and helped me grow.

I’m reminded of one of my early mentors, Norrie Fuller who said: “Everything is easy when you know it”. These words inspired me to learn more; to ask even more questions and most importantly, develop a solid work ethic.

Mentors enter (and exit) our lives and perhaps we don’t give them the proper credit that they deserve. These people coach us to learn; to deal with, and avoid pitfalls that they may have endured when they were first learning. Through their experiences, mentors have walked the path and laid foundations well before us. Dear mentors, thank you for establishing sound practices and tradition. The knowledge of your time has helped many generations evolve and grow.

As I look at the debriefing aspects of simulation, this is part of a mentoring process. Learners reflect on their own performance and coupled with the guidance of instructors, are able to avoid future pitfalls and potentially compromising situations as future practitioners. The modeling process allows corrective behaviors to be addressed. Is learning finished when the debriefing session is over? No. The words and teachings of instructors and mentors echo for days in the receptive individual. To share meaningful and teachable moments can impact trainees and inspire people over the course of a lifetime.

I believe in mentorship and still have mentors to this day. I believe that there are amazing people who want to be a mentor. If you’re curious or don’t know where to start, step forward and ask about how to get involved in your community.

Remember the person who mentored and helped you learn about your craft? Pick up the phone or send them an email and thank them for showing you the way. I’m sure that they would be extremely happy to hear from you.

Stay Amazing,

Matthew

About the Author: Matthew Jubelius wants to change the future of people development, education, and training. He has championed the design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry, and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through www.amoveotraining.ca

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Risking Safety to “Stretch the Budget”

Risking Safety to “Stretch the Budget”

Academic budgets. Man, they can be tough. It’s such a challenging and balancing act of maximizing your department finances and let’s face it; simulations can be expensive. There are a lot of consumables that SIM centres go through and I completely respect the practice of reusing items when necessary to be financially responsible. In the reality of trying to maximize budget spending and well-intended actions, sometimes there can be risks to safety.

Risk: Expired Medications

When someone wants to donate expired supplies such as medications, it’s awesome that someone is thinking of your simulation program. Before adding these to your consumables inventory, you need to consider if there is a risk to staff or learner safety. An example is a donation from a hospital including a bag expired paralytic agents. In a busy academic SIM centre (or any facility), things can “disappear” or “walk off” which is a chilling thought and can cause catastrophic effects. Do yourself, your colleagues, staff and students a favor – Please, never keep or use live medications in a simulated learning environment. There are plenty of ways to mitigate this risk including the safe disposal of expired medications. You can purchase placebo or simulated medications from different vendors and refill used vials/bags with sterile water and reuse when appropriate. Don’t let a well-intended donation be the reason someone could get hurt.

Risk: Unsafe DIY Attempts

Let’s talk about simulated wounds. I’ll be straightforward, there are many DIY attempts floating on the internet and people can be easily swayed by the words “free and cheap”! Some are outright dangerous. I saw several videos out there on how to create a wearable wound from construction caulking because “it’s cheaper than buying from a vendor and I have a tight budget”. WOW! This is bad news and still makes me shudder! Do not ever use caulking on your skin, it’s not safe and can cause health problems down the road. If you’re in a situation where using toxic chemicals on people to save a few bucks sounds like a viable option, please stop and reflect on this. Then, have a frank discussion with your administrator on why you need proper materials. Don’t shortcut safety.

Full disclosure, seeing these unsafe DIY attempts is one of the reasons why Amoveo Training created a realistic, reusable, high quality, skin-safe and durable product line at an affordable price. The other reason is our clients asked us. Shameless plug alert, you can see our products at www.amoveotraining.ca

I’m all for efficiency and helping maximize budgets, but please do not do it at the risk of potentially harming learners or other team members. Simulation is about safety. Sit down with your purchasing committees, teams and ask questions about what types of products that you will have in your SIM centres. It may mean that you have to plan and develop a policy on items such as receiving certain donations, but it is necessary to perform due diligence.

Be Safe,

Matthew

Reflect and Reset

Reflect and Reset

Happy New Year to you and all of your loved ones! I hope that you feel well rested and had the opportunity to make special memories with family and friends. 2018 is firing up and people generally do a lot of goal setting with the best of intentions and reflecting on the year that was.

Reflection is a powerful tool that allows us to think about how things are going in our lives. We take stock of our successes and celebrate those wins (which is very important). We also reflect on things that perhaps didn’t go so well. Maybe we started out 2017 with a passion for getting in shape and that didnt happen. Perhaps we set a goal to become more mindful and got lost along the way of digital distractions, reading about what thousands of people had for lunch or where they “checked in”. Maybe, we just felt beat down and 2017 was just a really tough year.

The great news is that 2017 is in the past and it’s time to look ahead. It’s time to reset and recommit to what you want from life in 2018.

If you’re an educator, perhaps your goal is to become reinvigorated in teaching your students. If you’re a healthcare professional, maybe you want to find that passion for helping patients. Perhaps you want to learn more about your field. Maybe, you just want to see what going the extra mile looks like to you this year. Whatever your vocation or situation is, there’s an awesome opportunity for you in 2018.

So, what are you going to commit to? For me, I am committing to my health, family and business. I have an awesome friend, Timothy who years ago, shared these words: “Be excellent in all things”.

To me, this means placing effort into my health and doing specific activities that give me the benefits of a healthy mind, body and spirit. My family relationships deserve my best energy; they’re the people who are always in my corner. Amoveo Training is an extension of who I am, passionate about delivering results for patient safety and quality improvement. I commit to developing and maintaining important relationships with likeminded people that help increase patient and learner safety and create a safer systems.

The time is here. It’s time to reset and commit. My wish for you; to echo my friend’s words, is to be excellent in all things. You just need to choose what you want to be excellent in.

Be Awesome,

Matthew

 

About the Author:

Matthew Jubelius wants to change the future of education and training. He has championed the design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry, and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through www.amoveotraining.ca

Congratulations! You Have Robots, Now What?

Congratulations! You Have Robots, Now What?

You’ve made the business case for purchasing (including the extended maintenance agreement), celebrated the approval from your supervisor and have been waiting patiently for your new simulator to show up. And then, it finally happened.

You unbox the high fidelity patient simulator and laptop(s), assemble the fluid ports, cables, cords and so on.  You stand back and admire the pristine look of the simulator and perhaps dream of how you’ll impact the world of teaching and learning. Someone calls you and says “let’s do a simulation this afternoon”. Excitedly, you say “YES!”…but here’s why you should say “I love your enthusiasm, but let’s reschedule for a later date.”

New technology is pretty appealing, but without understanding how your simulator functions on-site could mean some unnecessary technological and professional relationship hiccups.

If you’re running a wireless connection, how does it perform? What’s the actual distance that your connection can really perform at? Is the software lagging? What about wireless interference? Do cell phones cause connection issues? If you’re using wireless cameras for recording and debriefing, do they cause any issues? I encourage you to be very curious at this stage and test, test, TEST your simulator and environment before running scenarios!

You’ve read the instructions, filled the fluid ports and feel like you are ready to start running scenarios. Have you considered failure and contingency planning? Discussing this with your teams will definitely help you and your program. Dealing with a massive technological failure mid-scenario can be embarrassing and frustrating to you, learners and instructors. Not knowing how to deal with failures can add even more stress to the situation. Do some risk analysis and draft up a plan of “if XYZ happens, the next steps are…”

It’s always exciting to receive new technology, however, there’s a lot of planning that should be considered from the time that the simulator arrives and when actual simulations are being performed. By planning, testing and refining actual performance and processes, your simulation teams can alleviate many potential headaches.

Cheers,

Matthew

About the Author: Matthew Jubelius wants to change the future of education and training. He has championed the design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry, and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through www.amoveotraining.ca

Simulation-Based Education: Experience Matters. Patient Safety Matters.

Simulation-Based Education: Experience Matters. Patient Safety Matters.

It’s been nearly a decade and I can still recall the day that simulation-based education and training made sense to me and witnessed the profound benefits for healthcare practitioners, workers, and patient safety.

I had never observed a simulated training event and was curious what was going to happen. The concept of using patient simulators was intriguing and I was optimistic about how the learner was going to perform.  The cohort had completed their traditional lecture and lab-based education and was “ready” to deliver care.

The simulation experience was based on Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) guidelines and the learning objectives were:

  1. Recognize a life-threatening ECG rhythm
  2. Activate emergency system and call for assistance
  3. Administer appropriate ACLS medications and perform CPR

Before the experience, I observed the learner’s behavior and they appeared very confident. “Let’s see what happens,” I thought to myself. The lights went out and the simulation began.

The patient simulator was breathing, showing signs of distress and the software performed spectacularly according to the preset programming (shout out to engineers). The learner entered the event area and began to assess the simulated casualty. The ECG was set up and displayed a life-threatening rhythm that needed defibrillation and immediate drug therapy. Something wasn’t right; the learner interpreted the incorrect ECG rhythm and started giving the wrong medication.  The simulator responded in real-time, vital signs became more complicated and the patient simulator condition worsened.  Within a very short time, the situation became unmanageable for one person, yet there was no call for support. There was no call for help. The scenario continued and ultimately the experience had concluded. In this case, things did not end well.

In the debriefing phase, the facilitator went into more detail about what happened; based on the learner’s performance and connected the pieces to a meaningful learning experience. The scenario was repeated and the learner’s performance was dramatically improved, resulting in better outcomes for the simulated patient. Truly remarkable learning.

Why does this matter? The immersive experience in a controlled environment provided an additional layer of safety, where potential errors could be addressed and corrected well out of harm’s way.

Simulation-based experiences have the ability to positively impact patient safety, help people and teams deliver appropriate interventions.  Simulation – the replication of an experience, can also expose system weaknesses and provide opportunities for healthcare quality improvement.

By designing and facilitating experiences based on models of current and best practices, we have the opportunity to address current challenges and impact the future of healthcare delivery.

Even after thousands of simulation experiences, I remain passionately curious about how people interact with complex systems. Failure can be an enormous learning experience, especially in a setting where there is absolutely no risk to patients.

I believe that we can make a difference in creating safer and effective systems.

Matthew
About the Author: Matthew Jubelius wants to change the future of education and training. He has championed the design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry, and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through www.amoveotraining.ca

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