Research PapersNurse Training With Simulation: An Innovative Approach to Teach Complex Microsurgery Patient CareFlurry, Mitchell MD; Brooke, Sebastian MD; Micholetti, Brett MD; Natoli, Noel MD; Moyer, Kurtis MD; Mnich, Stephanie CRNP, MSN, CPSN; Potochny, John MDAuthor Information From the Division of Plastic Surgery, The Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA. Received January 12, 2012, and accepted for publication, after revision, January 14, 2012. Presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons, Amelia Island, FL, October 20–23, 2011. Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared. Reprints: John D. Potochny, MD, Division of Plastic Surgery, The Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 500 University Dr, H071, Hershey, PA 17033-0850. E-mail: email@example.com. Annals of Plastic Surgery: October 2012 - Volume 69 - Issue 4 - p 459-461 doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31824b3db4 Buy Metrics Abstract Simulation has become an integral part of education at all levels within the medical field. The ability to allow personnel to practice and learn in a safe and controlled environment makes it a valuable tool for initial training and continued competence verification. An area of specific interest to the reconstructive microsurgeon is assurance that the nursing staff has adequate training and experience to provide optimum care for microsurgery patients. Plastic surgeons in institutions where few microsurgeries are performed face challenges teaching nurses how to care for these complex patients. Because no standard exists to educate microsurgery nurses, learning often happens by chance on-the-job encounters. Outcomes, therefore, may be affected by poor handoffs between inexperienced personnel. Our objective is to create a course that augments such random clinical experience and teaches the knowledge and skills necessary for successful microsurgery through simulated patient scenarios. Quality care reviews at our institution served as the foundation to develop an accredited nursing course providing clinical training for the care of microsurgery patients. The course combined lectures on microsurgery, pharmacology, and flap monitoring as well as simulated operating room, surgical intensive care unit, postanesthesia care unit, Trauma Bay, and Floor scenarios. Evaluation of participants included precourse examination, postcourse examination, and a 6-month follow-up. Average test scores were 72% precourse and 92% postcourse. Educational value, effectiveness of lectures and simulation, and overall course quality was rated very high or high by 86% of respondents; 0% respondents rated it as low. Six-month follow-up test score average was 88%. Learning to care for microsurgery patients should not be left to chance patient encounters on the job. Simulation provides a safe, reproducible, and controlled clinical experience. Our results show that simulation is a highly rated and effective way to teach nurses microsurgery patient care. Simulated patient care training should be considered to augment the clinical experience in hospitals where microsurgery is performed. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.