Birth Center Medical Team Learns from Special Deliveries

August 28, 2007

Noelle experienced labor and delivery several times on August 27 and 28, but not because she was expecting triplets. A computerized maternal and neonatal birthing simulator, this NOELLE TM is helping hospital staff at Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester Medical Center prepare to provide optimal care for mothers and their newborns during childbirth.

The newest addition to the Medical Center’s simulator teaching tools, NOELLE TM can be programmed to mimic a wide range of emergency situations in pregnancy and childbirth. The simulator can help individuals hone their practice skills while also providing opportunities for birth center staff to practice responding as a team, according to Deborah Phillips, associate director of Ob/Gyn Nursing at Strong Memorial Hospital.

“Childbirth involves a multidisciplinary medical team that, in addition to nurses, includes obstetricians, anesthesiologists and neonatologists,” Phillips said. “This simulator can be programmed to mimic real-life labor and delivery emergencies so the team can practice working together, responding quickly and appropriately.”

Included with NOELLE TM is a computer interactive 40-week newborn and monitors to track the vital signs of the mother and baby. This sophisticated simulator’s color and vital signs respond to various situations and treatments, such as insertion of a breathing tube or an intravenous medication. It is mechanically designed to mimic birth movements and can be programmed with scenarios like breech position or shoulder dystocia, a complication where one or both of the baby’s shoulders do not enter the pelvis during birth as they should. When the delivery is completed, the newborn simulator provides opportunities to practice responses to situations such as neonatal resuscitation. Accessories for NOELLE TM provide post-delivery training for C-section care, episiotomy, and other postpartum occurrences.

Hospitals are increasingly turning to simulator technology to improve patient care and safety, according to Joanne Weinschreider, obstetrics safety nurse at Strong. “Several recent studies point to the role of simulation-based training in improving patient safety,” Weinschreider said. “The goals for our obstetric simulation program focus on team training, communication, and the fundamentals of crew resource management, as these are the building blocks in working towards our goal of creating a culture of safety.”

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Lori Barrette
(585) 275-1310
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