Simulation professionals are providing valuable services during the COVID 19 pandemic, including PPE training, team practice, and systems testing. Simulation programs have quickly responded to the need to provide virtual clinical experiences for students who are not allowed to work in the clinical environments. These strategies and tools have been generously shared online so that all can benefit, and to avoid duplication of effort.
In response to supply shortages, simulation programs have supported clinicians with donated PPE and other equipment. Many programs have canceled center-based classes, and are transitioning to online or in situ education. We recently heard from a colleague who recognized a possible safety threat related to this situation. It is very helpful to share unneeded supplies with clinical units, however this may lead to unintended consequences.
Becky Damazo, Rural SimCenter Director and Professor of Nursing at California State University, was concerned that people may look for supplies in the simulation center. The center was closed, and there would be no staff available to monitor the supplies. Well-meaning people may not be aware which items are appropriate for clinical use. Matt Ross, simulation technician, offered a creative solution: he applied the Not for Human Use labels across the doors to the simulation supply cabinets. This provides a warning to those who may be “shopping” for supplies, and acts as a seal to discourage people from opening the cabinet or closet. It was also an alert that supplies may have been taken and allowed for inventory tracking.
Thanks Becky and Matt for sharing this helpful suggestion!
We recommend that simulation programs:
- Use a meticulous process to ensure that any item given to clinicians is safe for patient use, unopened, not expired etc.
- Institute measures to control access to simulation supplies to avoid inappropriate use.
Please share your experience with us!
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