As final preparations are underway to move patients currently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to National Naval Medical Center, the Department of Defense is ensuring staff are properly trained for the transition.
One such training exercise, Day in the Life, provides staff with hands on experience dealing with several different patient scenarios. This particular exercise began with a 20-year-old mock patient who checked in with abdominal pain.
Staff and the trainees then determined that the patient needed surgical admission. As they escorted the patient through the standard systems and processes associated with treatment including admissions paperwork, radiology and lab tests, the Day in the Life concluded with the mock patient's admission to a surgical unit for treatment.
Although this exercise began with a patient walking into the Emergency Room with a specific issue, sometimes the patients can't walk through the front door. Additionally, their ailments might not be as apparent. The Day in the Life training prepares staff for any and all contingencies.
As Capt. Wanda Richards the Assistant Deputy Commander for BRAC and Nursing Integration at National Naval Medical Center points out, not all admissions are as straight forward. "Some of them start in the emergency room department. One starts in the garage where a patient gets out of her car and has some problems, so we had to retrieve her from there."
Additionally, these Day in the Life scenarios are provided to train staff in a variety of different medical fields. Richards explains, "We have our Wounded Warriors Scenario, Pediatric Scenario, Medicine Scenario Surgical Scenario which we are following right now an Orthopedic Scenario and we also have a Hema Oncology Scenario."
She continued by explaining that each of these scenarios gives trainees an opportunity to work in different departments within the medical center. This she feels will all contribute to a more robust training experience.
Additionally, Captain Richards said that there are no details too small to go over in training. Best routes in the hospital, how to navigate the gurney and familiarization with differences in rank structure between Army and Navy all ensure the success of the overarching mission: patient and staff safety. She explains, "Patient and staff safety are priority and making sure every bit is covered will ensure that."
In the end, Richard emphasized that although the Army and the Navy are coming together under one roof with this new medical center, "We are one team, one fight and one mission."