Bloome Uses Simulation to Teach Nursing Students

Posted: April 23, 2012

Chrissy Bloome, center, uses a simulated patient to teach MHCC nursing students.Simulation is the Real Thing

Nursing instructor and simulation specialist Chrissy Bloome, R.N., B.S.N., M.S., is on the leading edge of healthcare training.

The healthcare team is focused and working smoothly together. This is the critical moment: The baby’s head is just about to emerge from the mother, just about to be born. Everyone does their job, and the delivery goes well. The nursing students who have been watching via video in the next room get ready to debrief and analyze the birth.

The newborn? He’s put back inside his mother, and she’s rebooted for the next simulation.

It all seemed very real. Disbelief was, as they say, suspended, and lessons were indelibly learned—all with one of several high-tech mannequins that can simulate just about any clinical situation that nurses will face. Here in The Bruning Center for Allied Health Education at MHCC, the Clinical Skills Lab and Simulation Center is the first such lab in Oregon outside of a major hospital. MHCC uses many forms of simulation to teach the next generation of nurses, offering practice in care and clinical decision-making in a safe learning environment.

Bloome Uses 'Sim' patients in Safe Environment

MHCC nursing instructor Chrissy Bloome is a leader in this growing method of teaching and learning vital skills. She has been involved with simulation since 2004, and in 2010 she spent five months on sabbatical studying simulation and observing in “sim labs” around the U.S.

“Simulation is changing the way students are taught in every healthcare discipline,” Bloome says. “Nurses, physicians, allied health professionals—they all use simulation for practice and skill building in such areas as infection control, safety, communication and documentation. Anything that happens in a real clinical environment is being simulated today, all around the world.”

MHCC was an early adopter of simulation, which has been in use for a long time by the military and in aviation training, and a number of MHCC faculty are proficient in using these techniques for teaching and learning. Bloome, who ran MHCC’s Health Services program for a decade, often serves as the teachers’ teacher, speaking and training simulation leaders and healthcare professionals at conferences around the country.

Bloome was invited to make presentations this year at both the International Meeting on Simulation in Health Care and at the national meeting of the world’s largest medical simulation education organization.

“This is such an exciting field to be in,” she says. “At MHCC we use simulation to help students integrate all the things they are learning in a setting with decreased stress and anxiety. I’m focused on making each simulation experience as beneficial as possible. You can’t take the stress out of learning, but our goal is to help students develop the emotional intelligence that will minimize stress and strengthen their skills.”

Which, of course, is exactly what you would want from your healthcare team if you were on the table, instead of the plastic “sim” patient!

Simulation Places MHCC on Cutting-Edge of Nursing Education

Simulation isn’t always about high-tech mannequins. Sometimes it’s as low-tech as a role-playing exercise, where volunteers pose as family members or patients to help teach nurses and other providers how to listen and communicate.

“Our simulation lab has had an Oregon Governor, two past MHCC presidents and the dean of Instruction participate as family members in simulations,” notes Bloome. “It’s such a great learning experience for both our students and our volunteers.”

“I am proud of our program and excited to have an international platform from which to share the message that MHCC’s nursing faculty are using cutting-edge tools to prepare students for careers as real-world caregivers,” says Bloome.

“Our students are well prepared when they go on to jobs or the next step in their education, and simulation plays an important role. I’ve heard from several of our nursing students that when they found themselves in a hospital or other practice setting during their clinical experiences, and when certain care situations arose, they were the only one in the room who immediately knew how to handle it. That shows we’re providing a great education.”

With Bloome in the lead, simulation programs will continue to grow at MHCC, and the community will reap the benefits.

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 Last Modified: 4/23/2012 01:43:49 PM