SIM Courses

Doherty’s SIMResearch Lab

Parent/ Caregiver Simulation Program for Safe Discharge to Home

Summary: The Sim Neonatology Team is developing a novel program: Parent/ Caregiver Simulation Program for Safe Discharge to Home.  The course impetus stemmed from a need identified via the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family Advisory Council (FAC).  Parents on the FAC expressed anxiety and lack of confidence in preparedness surrounding discharge readiness particularly with medically complex infants.  The pilot program is focused on infants discharged to home from the NICU with gastrostomy tubes (GTs) but the overarching goal of the program will be to provide a service to create, develop, and run simulation programs for parents of children with various medical issues and needs throughout all hospital services and patient age ranges.
For the pilot program a tailored Needs Assessment was completed by families recently discharged to home with GTs.  IRB approval was obtained to collect historical data on infants with GTs, including complications, ER visits, and readmissions.  The Sim Neonatology Team is collaborating with members of the Enteral Tube Program (Maireade McSweeney, MD, MPH and Julia Perkins, NNP) for ongoing data collection, course development, and follow-up.  Caitlin O’Brien, RN, CCRN is leading the development of an educational video resource to be available on iPads for parents in the NICU.  The study design will include 3 arms: standard teaching; standard teaching with video supplementation; standard teaching, video, and simulation training.  Elizabeth G. Doherty, MD and Christa Matrone, MD are working with Adam Dubrowski, PhD to develop the tools to effectively study the impact of the program.


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