Mobile training center to make a difference in rural, underserved communities

Group of hospital employees standing in front of blue and white RV used as mobile training center
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children caregivers who played a role in creating the hospital's mobile training center. L-R: Rebecca Peterson, Ben Dunn, Chris Dunbar, Chief Operating Officer Brett Matens, Stephanie Wise, Linda Gray, Dr. Chris Darr, Chief Executive Officer Maureen Tarrant, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Reginald Washington, Will Smitham, Chief Nursing Officer Amanda Veit, Rob Portwood, Chief Financial Officer Shari Collier, Jorie Matijevich, Wes Ayres, Megan Lee, Christy Browning.

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC) is taking its talent on the road. The HCA Healthcare affiliate in Denver unveiled the first-of-its-kind pediatric mobile training center designed to ensure that caregivers and community members in rural and underserved areas have the skills to act in case of emergency.

“We want everybody who runs across a sick child – newborn or adolescent – to be fully comfortable, trained and competent to take care of that emergency situation,” Reginald Washington, MD, chief medical officer for Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children told the local Fox affiliate. “A child stabilized before they get to us has a much better chance of surviving. If you wait until you get to the hospital to begin treatment, you’re already behind the game.”

This innovative training room on wheels is a custom built RV equipped with:

  • two simulation spaces, where participants can practice being in an ambulance bay, ER, hospital or NICU;
  • on-board WiFi,
  • classroom video cameras,
  • debriefing TVs, and
  • capabilities to live broadcast clinical training simulations.

Female nurse pointing at TV monitor showing training video

Real-world emergencies call for real patients, too. As a result, technically advanced simulation manikins are also on board for individuals to participate in hands-on training without a risk to human patients.

Manikins Ryan, a 16-year-old adolescent, Max, a 6-year-old child, Hope, a 1-month-old newborn, and Chloe, a 25-week premature infant, will be used to focus on stabilization skills for airway and breathing troubles, teach resuscitation techniques and many more customizable scenarios.

As the largest level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the region, Rocky Mountain caregivers believed having a realistically proportioned preterm infant like Chloe will allow for true-to-life training that will help save our youngest lives.
Female nurse practicing using a manual resuscitator on baby mannequin
“Medical emergencies with newborns are incredibly rare. However, it’s a high stress situation,” Ben Dunn, emergency medical services (EMS) manager at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, said. “So, we’re very pleased to have a manikin that can do a full assessment…and really, whatever you would need to train on in a very realistic environment.”

Amy Casseri, vice president of women’s and children’s services for HCA Healthcare, said that many hospitals, EMS providers and health care clinics outside of major cities like Denver don’t have access to high-intensity pediatric training.

“We’re proud of this unique concept that Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children has developed to bring critical pediatric training to our underserved communities,” Casseri said. “This is not only an educational outreach program but an investment in the skills and training of our parents, clinicians and communities to respond whenever a child is in need.”

The mobile training center will hit the road soon to tour in communities in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas.

Click here to view the local broadcasts about the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children’s Mobile Training Center.

Blue and white RV used as mobile training center

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, an affiliate of HCA Healthcare, is a member of the HealthONE system in the Denver area. 

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