'Day in the Life' Ensures Smooth Transition, Seamless Care for Patients, Wounded Warriors

Story Number: NNS110728-02Release Date: 7/28/2011 1:35:00 PM
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By Bradley Cantor, Defense Media Activity

BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- National Naval Medical Center Bethesda held a 'Day in the Life' exercise July 26, exercising the facility's capability to process patients and helping ensure staff are fully trained as part of final preparations to move patients, many of whom are Wounded Warriors, currently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to NNMC.

Day in the Life exercises provide staff with hands-on experience dealing with several different patient scenarios. This particular exercise began with a 20-year-old mock patient who checked in with abdominal pain.

Upon the mock patient's arrival, staff and trainees determined that the patient needed surgical admission. As they escorted the patient through the standard systems and processes associated with treatment including admissions paperwork, radiology and lab tests. The exercise concluded with the mock patient's admission to a surgical unit for treatment.

Although this exercise began with a patient walking into the Emergency Room with a specific issue, sometimes the patients can't walk through the front door. Additionally, their ailments might not be as apparent. Day in the Life training prepares staff for any and all contingencies.

As Capt. Wanda Richards the Assistant Deputy Commander for BRAC and Nursing Integration at National Naval Medical Center points out, not all admissions are as straight forward. "Some of them start in the emergency room department. One starts in the garage where a patient gets out of her car and has some problems, so we had to retrieve her from there."

Additionally, these Day in the Life scenarios are provided to train staff in a variety of different medical fields. Richards explains, "We have our Wounded Warriors scenario, pediatric scenario, medicine scenario, surgical scenario which we are following right now an orthopedic scenario and we also have a hema-oncology scenario."

She continued by explaining that each of these scenarios gives trainees an opportunity to work in different departments within the medical center. This she feels will all contribute to a more robust training experience.

Additionally, Capt. Richards said that there are no details too small to go over in training. Best routes in the hospital, how to navigate the gurney and familiarization with differences in rank structure between Army and Navy all ensure the success of the overarching mission: patient and staff safety.

"Patient and staff safety are priority and making sure every bit is covered will ensure that," said Richards.

In the end, Richard emphasized that although the Army and the Navy are coming together under one roof with this new medical center, "We are one team, one fight and one mission."

For more news, visit www.navy.mil.

1st Lt. Timothy Fallon, left, a visually-impaired veteran assigned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, provides feedback to Billy Jaeger.
110712-N-OM661-001 BETHESDA, Md. (July 12, 2011) 1st Lt. Timothy Fallon, left, a visually-impaired veteran assigned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, provides feedback to Billy Jaeger, a project engineer at the Office in Charge of Construction Bethesda, about new pavers integrated into the design of the new Wounded Warrior Barracks. The pavers are designed to aid visually impaired wounded warriors get around base. The barracks are part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission decision to merge Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center Bethesda into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda in September 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Kat Smith/Released)
July 14, 2011
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