UniHealth Grant to provide hands-on training at Providence Holy Cross for emergency childbirth complications

Providence Holy Cross Medical Center received a two-year $447,000 grant this week from the UniHealth Foundation to create a simulation training program that will  guide the hospital team in managing crises related to childbirth.

The Interprofessional Perinatal Simulation Program will utilize manikins for ongoing training and practice for physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, chaplains and emergency department staff who work with mothers and their babies in labor and delivery, the Mother-Baby Unit and in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“Providence Holy Cross continues to demonstrate leadership in developing innovative programs to elevate the capabilities of its medical staff and deliver improved patient outcomes,” said Mary Odell, president of UniHealth, an independent private health care foundation established in 1998 to identify and support innovation that results in improved care.

“We are pleased to support their focus on improving care for mothers and newborns during life-threatening deliveries, and hope this leads to a broader adoption of these practices.”

Because complications are rare, clinicians have limited experience in handling crises. Training will be conducted in the appropriate hospital departments to provide learning experiences that are as close to real events as possible. 

“Childbirth typically goes smoothly, but a small number of women experience seizures, hemorrhaging, cardiac arrest and other dangerous complications that often come with no warning,” said Tenesa Reid, nurse manager for Labor and Delivery at Providence Holy Cross. “Rapid, skilled response is crucial and, thanks to this grant, we will be able to provide training and practice using simulation that mimics real-life situations.”

In the second year, the program will be expanded to train nursing students with clinical rotations at Providence Holy Cross and at sister hospitals, Providence Tarzana and Providence Saint Joseph medical centers. 

Clinical simulation training provides high-tech, interactive learning opportunities to reinforce and refine best practices and teamwork. Training in the actual patient care setting helps to expose issues related to the physical environment and care processes. The program also will include training in inter-professional communication – essential during critical situations. Simulation scenarios will be video recorded with debriefing afterward to help the team improve its response and function during emergencies.

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