Northwestern Medicine physicians, nurses, residents and security staff collaborated with paramedics from the Chicago Fire Department at a joint simulation event on Oct. 27, hosted by Northwestern Simulation in the Department of Medical Education. Participants practiced communication and teamwork skills to develop simulation-based scenarios that will help ensure better care for patients.
The simulated drills included casualties from a building fire and collapse where firefighters were injured and transported to Northwestern. The drills occurred at the Northwestern Simulation laboratory.
Simulations included pre-hospital care and stabilization, transport and effective care transition from paramedics to emergency room staff. “These drills are an opportunity to pause and think: Why do I do this, this way?” said Walter Eppich, MD, MEd, director of faculty development in the Department of Medical Education and associate professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Emergency Medicine. “Everyone has something valuable to add to the process, so we need to be thinking about what we need to do, system-wise, to make it better.”
As participants went through each drill, they practiced team dynamics to better serve future patients.
Paramedics and emergency medicine physicians and nurses worked together on communication skills as they simulated handing off patients in an emergency room.
General surgery resident Ben Schwab, MD (above, right), who participated in the drills said, “Trauma is so dynamic: Sharing information is so important when things change.”
Participants in the drills also practiced emergency room management and treatment of simulated patients.
After each simulated scenario, participants debriefed and discussed what worked and what could be improved for the future. “We hope to develop an educational model from today’s exercise to train others how to communicate during emergency responses. Northwestern Simulation is unique because we have both outstanding clinicians and the medical education expertise to develop educational curricula we can share with other institutions,” said Jeffrey Barsuk, ’99 MD, ’02 GME, director of simulation and patient safety in the Department of Medical Education and associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine.