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Cape Coral Hospital gets neonatal simulation lab

By CJ HADDAD - | Mar 3, 2021

cjhaddad@breezenewspapers.com

Cape Coral Hospital is now home to a new simulation lab that will better help healthcare workers when it comes to newborns.

A neonatal simulation lab has been completed at Cape hospital inside of the birthing suites that will be used for training medical professionals on how to prepare for emergencies.

The Golisano Children’s Hospital NICU simulation team oversaw the setup of the lab. Lee Health officials said the team consisted of NICU nurses and a neonatologist who dedicated time to simulation of newborn situations, which leads to improved outcomes in the baby.

The lab has state-of- the-art equipment that provides feedback to the team during the resuscitation.

“We’ve been doing this for about three years with two High Fidelity mannequins,” said neonatologist Dr. Beatriz De Jongh, who leads the simulation team in the NICU. “Our goal is to reach all of the obstetric department nurses, as well as the neonatal ICU nurses, and respiratory specialists who have involvement with babies.”

De Jongh said Lee Health reaches about 450 staff members each year to run through the simulation lab.

Scenarios are based off of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, ranging from the basics to the most critical. This exercise allows nurses and medical professionals to be prepared in the event an issue arose during a real birth.

“It’s very important (to be prepared) because about 10% of babies need some sort of resuscitation and about 1% can (take us to the most critical situation),” De Jongh said. “We want our teams that are there to feel comfortable and confident they can provide that service. In the lab, we are able to process in a safe and secure place and process the communication amongst the team and identify roles, as well as practice medication doses and administration. If we do make a mistake, this is a safe place to do so.”

De Jongh said after the simulation the team discusses what went right, wrong, and what steps can be taken in the future to best take care of the patient. Staff will participate twice a year in the program to keep their skills sharp.

De Jongh also mentioned the move to Cape Coral Hospital was in part due the availability of space at the facility. With COVID-19 present in hospitals, the simulation program was halted but can now resume. The Cape location provided the space needed while also helping prepare nurses.

“The Cape Coral staff does not have the backup support of having a neonatal intensive care unit within their building, so we really want the staff to benefit from the simulation lab so they can provide the best care for the babies born there,” De Jongh said.

The simulation lab and mannequins were made possible by Lee Health donors.

–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj