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Critical Care Cardiology Education Summit: Fostering Excellence through Collaboration and Simulation

Rupsa Raychaudhuri

This past spring, the University held the first annual Critical Care Cardiology Education Summit (CCCES). This collaboration between the Department of Medicine, specifically cardiology, and the Minnesota Mobile Resuscitation Consortium’s ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) team aimed to bring critical care cardiologists together to build a community and train fellows planning to pursue a career in cardiovascular critical care.

"We decided that we really wanted to focus predominantly on education," explains Andrea Elliott, MD, who spearheaded the initiative and organized the CCCES. “Simulation of cardiology procedures that are defining us as critical care doctors would form a large component of the summit. We then wanted to add on teaching efforts that were predominantly focused on lecture and supplement it even further by having literature available. We realized that we'd have people all the way from very senior faculty that had been practicing for years all the way down to fellows, and we wanted to figure out a way to engage them as well.”

M Simulation specializes in providing immersive and practical training experiences for health care professionals. They played an important role in supplying trainers, equipment, and supplies that enabled attendees to engage in immersive and practical skill-building exercises. The center embodies a comprehensive approach to education by offering many simulation teaching modalities, with the two main modalities being technical simulation and human simulation. During CCCES, technical simulation was used to help attendees practice hands-on invasive skills.

Technical Simulation: From Theory to Practice

The technical simulation aspect involved advanced task trainers which provided attendees the opportunity to practice specific skills and procedures as well as provided realistic physiological responses–they could breathe, bleed, and some even had tissue layers which provided attendees with the opportunity to engage in immersive scenarios. This setup allowed medical professionals to gain valuable experience and refine their skills in a controlled and realistic setting. The CCCES featured skill stations where attendees could practice various medical procedures using these task trainers. Stations were designed to address pressing issues in critical care cardiology, such as procedures related to chest tubes, point of care ultrasound, intubation techniques, and more.

“Through simulation best practices, our team is able to provide a platform for medical practitioners to practice interventions and procedures as well as communication techniques in a safe environment,” says E.B. Floersch, Assistant Director for M Simulation. “Alongside lecture-based courses, simulation provides our learners the additional benefit of kinesthetic learning environments, where the need to interact with a physical environment—that is based on educational theory—promotes a better understanding of the skill.”

With the help of M Simulation, CCCES participants had the opportunity to refine their critical care cardiology skills in a controlled and realistic environment.

Looking ahead, the collaboration with the CCCES is set to continue, with plans to host the summit at M Simulation next year.

“We look forward to welcoming this important summit to our simulation center,” said Executive Director Lou Clark, PhD, MFA. “Our M Simulation team values supporting events such as this which promote diversity of thoughts and perspectives to support faculty development and advance patient care.”

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