Waveny Care Center Enlists Norwalk Community College Simulation Center for Nursing Staff Clinical Training
Posted on March 31, 2016
Norwalk Community College and Waveny Care Center partner to promote exceptional outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions. (L-R) Cathleen Caulfield, RN, MSN, MS, CHSE, Simulation Center Coordinator; Crystal McLean, Student Simulation Coordinator; Mariola Germaine, RN Supervisor; Janet Awlasewicz, RN Charge Nurse; Kadian Hunter, RN Charge Nurse; Mary Di Paola, RN, CDP, Director of Nursing; Ava Dedic, LPN Charge Nurse; Gesta Bonnet, LPN Charge Nurse; Marie Paul, RN Supervisor.
To meet the needs of an increasingly acute patient population and reduce hospital readmissions, Waveny Care Center – Waveny LifeCare Network’s 5-star skilled nursing and short-term rehab facility – has partnered with the Simulation Center of the Norwalk Community College Division of Nursing and Allied Health, to provide hands-on simulation training for Waveny’s nurses, specifically those who care for the Center’s short-term rehab patients.
Called “WATCH,” an acronym for Waveny Care Center’s Assessment Training Collaboration for Healthcare Serving the Community, this unique training program was developed by Mary Di Paola, RN, Waveny’s Director of Nursing and Cathleen Caulfield, RN, MSN, MS, CHSE, NCC’s Simulation Center Coordinator, to enhance Waveny’s clinical team’s ability to proactively recognize, assess and respond to challenges posed by diagnoses like CHF, COPD, Pneumonia, Post Myocardial Infarction and Urinary Tract Infection.
“Today, the medical care needs of patients discharged from local hospitals to Waveny Care Center for inpatient care are vastly more acute than they were just a few years ago,” said Di Paola. “Many of the joint replacement cases who in years past would have come to the Care Center as short-term rehab patients are now going directly home with homecare services. It’s those patients who require greater care due to their complex co-morbidities who we now see in inpatient rehabilitation, using our interdisciplinary team to manage their recovery. That’s why it’s vitally important for our nursing team to be prepared to care for these patients with the highest quality of nursing, early identification, communication and interventions to reduce complications and the need for hospital readmission.”
The NCC Simulation Center, which launched in 2011, allows healthcare students and community professionals across disciplines to practice skills in medical procedures, using computerized SimMan and Noelle patient mannequins to portray patient situations. The unit’s six hospital rooms were developed in sponsorship with Norwalk Hospital, Stamford Hospital and Greenwich Hospital. Simulation educators guide students through scenarios that replicate real-life situations that they would encounter as healthcare clinicians. NCC has ten full-body simulation mannequins that mimic many human functions, including breathing, talking and coughing. The students diagnose health issues and perform therapies such as intravenous therapy and injections.
“We want to be a community resource with state-of-the-art services for healthcare students, faculty, professionals and community organizations to improve their clinical knowledge and research capabilities to promote patient safety and quality care,” explained Caulfield. “We’re eager to work with Waveny to provide them with innovative education using simulation capabilities to stay ahead of the curve on patient diagnostics, skilled nurse training and overall care.”
“As both a nurse and a nursing supervisor who oversees other clinicians, this experience reinforced my assessment skills, deepened my confidence and gave me a feeling of empowerment,” said Mariola Germaine, RN, Nursing Supervisor and one of Waveny’s participants in the hands-on training. “The training lab’s robot-mannequin provided us with a wonderfully interactive experience, where practice was allowed to make perfect. I believe this type of groundbreaking classroom training is taking our profession of nursing to new heights.”
This training was used in tandem with education on the INTERACT program, a Quality Improvement Program (QIP) designed to lower readmission rates, improve care transitions, enhance communication, positive clinical outcomes and operational success. “By using the INTERACT program to better identify the early signs of change in a patient’s condition, our nurses will know how to evaluate and review each patient’s care plan,” said Di Paola. “For example, our nurses will know if an IV or respiratory treatment is necessary, or if we need to involve our weekly consulting cardiologist or wound care physician in the case to preempt transfers to the hospital.”
Norwalk Community College’s Simulation Center uses best practices in healthcare simulation and was just awarded Provisional Program Accreditation in Teaching/Education from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, a leading international society that advances inter-professional healthcare simulation world-wide. Full program accreditation is expected within a year. Two NCC educators in the Division of Nursing and Allied Health, Cathleen Caulfield and Cheryl Moore, RN, MBA, MSN, CNL, CHSE are Certified Healthcare Simulation Educators (CHSEs); roughly 500 educators worldwide have achieved this certification. For more information on Norwalk Community College’s Simulation Center, contact Cathleen Caulfield at [email protected].
Celebrating 40 years of serving the community, Waveny LifeCare Network provides a comprehensive continuum of healthcare to serve the growing needs of older adults from all areas. Waveny is a not-for-profit organization that offers independent living at The Inn, assisted living for people with Alzheimer’s and memory loss at The Village, and skilled nursing at Waveny Care Center. It also includes Waveny Home Healthcare, Waveny at Home, the Brown Geriatric Evaluation Clinic, Geriatric Care Management, an Adult Day Program available on weekdays with flexible hours, inpatient and outpatient Rehabilitation Services, and respite programs at The Village and Care Center. For information call 1-855-WAVENY-1 or visit www.waveny.org