Using simulation to on-board clinical staff joining a new pediatric and women’s hospital
Introduction/Rationale Since the 1990s, simulation has been increasingly employed in healthcare as an educational strategy to supplement other types of instruction. This educational strategy is increasingly accepted as an effective way of practicing and acquiring new skills at all developmental levels of a healthcare professional’s career. As simulation is primarily intended in other industries, it is now increasingly used to address safety concerns, to test systems, to orient newly hired clinical staff to their healthcare setting, and to test new facilities (Fey & Miltner 2000, Kobayashi et al 2006, Olejniczak et al 2010, Villamaria et al 2008, Zekonis & gantt 2007). Sidra Medical and Research Center in Doha, Qatar, is a planned 400-bed women and children’s hospital due to open in late 2012. Due to the regional employment context, clinical staff will be very multicultural, including staff from Western countries, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Among the challenges of preparing the staff to provide safe patient centered care will be the very culturally diverse mix of staff and patients, sophisticated equipment and IT systems, a new totally hospital facility, and untested systems for providing care. Description: Ahead of the hospital opening, we are currently planning an educational program to on-board all staff recruited to work in the new hospital. A significant proportion of the program will involved simulation of diverse modalities, and hence require the development of a large dedicated simulation facility due to open approximately 6 months in advance of the hospital and clinic building. The focus of the simulation center during the first 12 months will be to facilitate on-boarding of new clinical staff so that they are prepared to deliver safe, patient-centered, and culturally appropriate care. In addition to the use of simulation in the center, its satellite locations, and the actual hospital for in-situ training and orientation, e-learning will be used to provide self-directed learning in advance of clinical staff’s arrival in Doha, and during the on-boarding process. The aim of this educationally focused on-boarding process is to establish a level of parity in terms of operational competency and culture among the anticipated diverse clinical staff that will be recruited to the hospital from various countries and with a wide range of core competencies and abilities. Conclusion: This is a unique project in the sense that it is going to be a totally new hospital without the operational heritage from any particular facility, nor the staff to care for its future patients. As the opening date of the hospital is approaching, an international recruitment campaign will need to take place due to the scares provision of potential staff from the local healthcare programs. All staff recruited will be put through a common corporate induction program followed by an individually tailored specialist educational program based on core competencies assessment results and level of relevant experience of each staff. This provides the opportunity to develop and put in practice a care delivery system based on the best available evidence from around the world while taking into account the Qatari culture (Robertson-Malt et al 2010). The simulation center will play a key role in ensuring the appropriate level of competency of the clinical staff, not only at the on-boarding stage, but also in the longer term, through a continuing professional development involving diverse simulation activities. Recruitment of the staff before the opening of the hospital will allow systems and facilities to be tested in-situ and corrected if required as recommended in other reports praising the value of simulation in such circumstances (Kobayashi et al 2006, Villamaria et al 2008). References: - Fey, M. K. and R. S. Miltner (2000). "A Competency-Based Orientation Program for New Graduate Nurses." Journal of Nursing Administration 30(3): 126-132. - Kobayashi, L., M. J. Shapiro, et al. (2006). "Portable Advanced Medical Simulation for New Emergency Department Testing and Orientation." Academic Emergency Medicine 13(6): 691-695. - Olejniczak, E. A., N. A. Schmidt, et al. (2010). "Simulation As an Orientation Strategy for New Nurse Graduates: An Integrative Review of the Evidence." Simulation in Healthcare 5(1): 52-57 - Robertson-Malt, S., D. M. Herrin-Griffith, et al. (2010). "Designing a Patient Care Model With Relevance to the Cultural Setting." Journal of Nursing Administration 40(6): 277-282 - Villamaria, F. J., J. F. Pliego, et al. (2008). "Using Simulation to Orient Code Blue Teams to a New Hospital Facility." Simulation in Healthcare 3(4): 209-216 - Zekonis, D. and L. T. Gantt (2007). "New Graduate Nurse Orientation in the Emergency Department: Use of a Simulation Scenario for Teaching and Learning." Journal of Emergency Nursing 33(3): 283-285.