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Making the Transition to Online Resuscitation Training Using Manikins

When transitioning to a new resuscitation program like HeartCodeTM, that involves online training and voice-activated manikins, it is important to include a strong group of people in the decision-making, implementation, and training processes. Start by gaining the support of senior leadership—the CEO, CFO, and CNO are key figures who need to stand behind the new program. The more leadership and staff personnel that is on board from the beginning, the easier it is to build excitement among hospital staff.

Next, create a team of individuals who will lead the implementation stages. A person needs to be identified who can act as the administrator of HeartCode. This person might be from HR, a Director of Education, a Manager, or a Charge Nurse—anyone who is able to make assignments, run reports, troubleshoot online content, and oversee the overall program. Instructors also need to be selected who can support staff and provide overall maintenance, and super-users should be identified who can be supportive of the program and staff as needed. The involvement of IT is critical to the team as well because they will be instrumental in keeping the software maintained and computers updated.

HealthStream is available to help clients during this entire process—by discussing HeartCode with hospital executives, setting up the program in the hospital, importing employees into the system, walking instructors through training, explaining the necessary system requirements to the IT department, and more.

Staff Reactions to Transition

Staff members’ responses to such a large transition vary immensely. There is always a group of people who is very excited about the change and the benefits of convenience that come with HeartCode. There is also always a group who is nervous about making the switch, particularly those who have test anxiety or are generally averse to change. HealthStream makes HeartCode training and navigation of the program very user-friendly. However, it is important to remember that many people have an underlying fear that he or she will not know what to do during a code situation. HeartCode is a completely different way of CPR learning than what everyone is used to, and some anxiety is normal. Emphasizing the positive effects HeartCode can have on survival outcomes encourages new users to be patient when they have to try again and again to pass the simulations. Encourage new users not to become frustrated because it is challenging to score 100% immediately; with time they will become caregivers with quality CPR skills.

Overcoming the Challenges of Transition

Transitioning to HeartCode from the traditional classroom model is a major shift for hospitals, staff, and instructors. This change in learning models is one of the biggest shifts that has occurred in the industry in years; because students and instructors are accustomed to a certain teaching format, some pushback can be anticipated. Quality CPR is extremely difficult to do, and HeartCode is more challenging and stricter than a classroom session. An instructor in a classroom does not have the same ability to measure student skills and provide specific feedback that can be applied and instantaneously measured and evaluated. With HeartCode, users who do not perform quality CPR do not pass the scenario and are given opportunities to learn from their mistakes and redo the session until they pass.

Resistance Related to Greater Difficulty

Students and instructors immediately recognize the differences between program models, and some resist the change because of the difficulties. It can be a particularly hard transition for instructors or staff persons who perform CPR regularly, especially if upon performing CPR on the VAMs they are told that they are not performing quality CPR. But hospitals that have adopted HeartCode report that over time those who resist the change are often the same people who become the biggest advocates of HeartCode.

Advocates Should Focus on the Why

Other problems that organizations face include trying to find space for the manikins, accessibility for staff, IT challenges, or working with a tight budget. Regardless of the challenge, when facing pushback during a transition the important thing to emphasize is the reason for transitioning to HeartCode— to save more lives through quality CPR. Such a drastic change can be foreign and intimidating to students, instructors, and administration. The more encouragement given, information shared, and best practices applied during implementation, the easier it is to overcome these challenges.

This blog post excerpts a HeartCode-focused article from our recent eBook, High-Quality CPR: Breathing New Life into Your Training Program, available for download here.

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