Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Sask Polytech hosts interprofessional simulated code blue scenario

Community collaboration provides real-world experience for nursing students, faculty and staff at Prince Albert campus

March 16, 2016 - Saskatchewan Polytechnic hosted a mock code blue scenario at the Prince Albert campus simulation centre. The interdisciplinary scenario, a partnership with Prince Albert Parkland Health Region and Parkland Ambulance, required a code team to rush to a specific location and begin immediate resuscitative efforts on a patient in cardiac arrest.

The mock scenario involved an ambulance that transported a code blue patient (mannequin) into the simulation centre, which resembled a hospital emergency room. The code blue team, a nurse and respiratory therapist from the health region's hospital and Sask Polytech faculty, waited on standby. Another individual acted as a family member. Students in the Practical and Psychiatric Nursing programs observed the scenario.

The code team's task was to revive the patient by administering medications and utilizing an automated external defibrillator. The educational scenario was run three times to accommodate all students. 

Netha Dyck, dean of the School of Nursing says, "Simulation in nursing education enhances patient safety. A simulated experience allows nursing students to practice high-level skills in a supervised setting without posing a risk to the patient."

The Psychiatric and Practical Nursing students were given a different scenario in the afternoon. They found a patient in a simulated hospital ward environment who was non-responsive. The task was to assess the patients breathing and pulse, call the code blue team, begin CPR and prepare for the code blue team to arrive. The objectives for the afternoon were to work collaboratively with the code blue team and other students. The students practiced their CPR skills, managed airways and reported to the code blue team. The afternoon session was videotaped. Students were able to watch the scenario before debriefing.

Jennifer Braaten, simulation centre coordinator says, "The training provides a life-like, hands-on opportunity for students to see how a code team operates and what a code blue scenario looks like before they experience this type of stressful situation in a hospital or medical setting." Braaten adds, "When students graduate and begin working in a medical setting they may become part of a code team
which requires very specific roles and responsibilities."

A representative from the health region debriefed the group. Braaten says, "A debriefing can sometimes be more important than the scenario. It allows us to discuss the roles of the code blue team, what happens depending on what time and where the code takes place and how the actual code went." Braaten adds, "Another important element is what the students felt during the code and how they felt they did on the outcome."

The simulation centre serves both the School of Nursing and the School of Health Sciences. Programs that utilize the space include Practical Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, Critical Care Nursing, Continuing Care Assistant and several continuing education courses. The centre also serves students in the Dumont Technical Institute and the University of Saskatchewan programming.