Emergency Training Resources (ETR) is the emergency medical and safety training division of Danbury Health Care Affiliates, and in conjunction with Danbury Hospital, serves as the premier community healthcare provider for the greater Danbury area. ETR has been providing leading edge consultation and educational programmes to corporations, public safety institutions and health and government organisations since 1999.
Within its full portfolio of training programmes, ETR trains both basic and advanced life support to Emergency Services personnel, First Aid teams and members of the general public engaged in community welfare projects. With such a broad scope of individual training needs, ETR distinguish themselves by being able to tailor their training programmes accordingly. They also have the distinction of being the first training organisation in the state of Connecticut to offer the ACLS Experienced Provider course.
Realistic training scenarios for both medical professionals and lay responders
To reflect the needs of their diversified customer base, ETR looked for a way to provide multiple realistic training scenarios; whether the trainees were family members who wanted to know how to deliver CPR for a rehabilitating cardiac patient or emergency room physicians who needed to respond to a gunshot wound.
Rommie Duckworth, Training Coordinator for ETR realised that no matter the level of prior medical training or general knowledge, translating textbook learning into hands-on competence for real life emergency situations presented unique training challenges. He therefore set about creating educational programmes with appropriate tools to bridge this gap.
Adopting the ‘Circle of Learning’ concept
The ‘Circle of Learning’ concept encompasses five ‘learning styles’, which when applied in proper rotation, provide a step by step process to achieve competence in the given task. Offering training solutions that are compatible with this approach brought Rommie Duckworth into discussions with Laerdal to create a simulation lab as a total solution rather than just pieces of equipment.
Building and maintaining competence in a risk-free environment
ETR needed to deliver all aspects of training - from teaching new knowledge and skills, to getting trainees used to prioritising and making quick and safe decisions as different emergency situations unfolded; from training realistically in teams to demonstrating a high level of competence in preparation for a real encounter.
In addition to a first generation SimMan, ETR built their lab with BLS/CPR training manikins, Resusci Anne with Skill Meter and various IV arms and intubation heads. Duckworth found that trainees felt more comfortable and confident with their skills through the integration of the Laerdal products provided, stating, “When SimMan was put to use, it allowed the training team to show how all of the pieces fit together …. The products and things that we do, from non-interactive manikins up to the most interactive manikin, trainees can perform their job with confidence in their areas of expertise.”
Bringing simulation full circle by evaluating performance post-scenario
Duckworth looks forward to using the training scenarios to evaluate trainees’ performance after a simulation and envisions ETR’s programme into a comprehensive simulation lab. Speaking of Laerdal’s support through the lab’s development, Duckworth said, “Both Sales Consultants and Technicians have all shown ownership of the products. If I have a question or a problem, whomever I talk to is just as concerned as I am about my issues. Everyone is an expert and Laerdal has given me great customer care.”