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Simulation Lab Helps Parents Prepare to Care for Kids at Home

When a child is born with medical complexities, parents are often thrust into the role of medical caregiver. Nicole Bent is one of those parents. She recalls the weight of responsibility she felt when it was time for her daughter, Kayleigh, to come home with a mechanical ventilator after 302 days in hospitals. "I was scared," she says. "Up to that point, a team of medical professionals kept Kayleigh alive. I knew at home if something went wrong I had to be the nurse, doctor and respiratory therapist."

Several years prior to Kayleigh being admitted to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (MWPH) in Baltimore for rehabilitative care, the hospital began investing in improved simulation training, which would later teach Bent how to care for her daughter and use the mechanical ventilator system that kept her baby alive.

Linda Hutter, B.A., RT, staff development specialist, helped guide the training program's evolution from a low-fidelity doll in a classroom setting for staff training to a high-fidelity SimBaby in a simulated bedside setting for staff and patient families.


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